Brainstem network dynamics underlying avoidance behaviour

Avoiding obstacles is a routine aspect of navigation, while escaping predators is literally a matter of life or death. Each depends on integration of sensory cues, which guide the selection, and precisely timed execution, of the appropriate actions. Parallel circuits in the brainstem, built from a core set of components, mediate different types of movement, but we know little about the population activity dynamics that underlie the selection and timing of different actions. In this project we will use fast volumetric calcium imaging in genetically defined cell types to reveal these dynamics.


  • Publication 1: Kinkhabwala, A., et al., A structural and functional ground plan for neurons in the hindbrain of zebrafish. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2011. 108(3): p. 1164-9.

  • Publication 2: Marques JC, Lackner S, Félix R, & Orger MB† (2018). Structure of the Zebrafish Locomotor Repertoire Revealed with Unsupervised Behavioral Clustering. Current Biology, 28(2). 181-195.

  • Publication 3: Bouchard, M. B., Voleti, V., Mendes, C. S., Lacefield, C., Grueber, W. B., Mann, R. S., et al. (2015). Swept confocally-aligned planar excitation (SCAPE) microscopy for high speed volumetric imaging of behaving organisms. Nature Photonics, 9(2), 113–119.