Elena Dreosti

Development and function of the social brain

The Dreosti lab (UCL, London, UK) studies the impact of genes and environment on the development of social behavior. We use functional optical imaging to characterize changes throughout the brain that occur during normal and disrupted social interaction.

The Dreosti lab has recently shown that most zebrafish start displaying a preference for other fish around 3 weeks of age, while some individuals display avoidance. Since zebrafish are transparent at 3 weeks, we are able to monitor the development of the entire network involved in social preference behavior at single neuron resolution. The lab is currently working on the following projects: What brain areas process social information? When do they develop? What visual features are used to recognise other fish? What happens when development is impaired by environmental or genetic manipulation?


  • Lopes G, Bonacchi N, Frazão J, Neto JP, Atallah BV, Soares S, Moreira L, Matias S, Itskov PM, Correia PA, Medina RE, Calcaterra L, Dreosti E, Paton JJ, Kampff AR [2015]. Bonsai: an event-based framework for processing and controlling data streams. ()


Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Email: e.dreosti@ucl.ac.uk