Decipher circuit mechanisms controlling chemotaxis

This project will rely on behavior analysis of zebrafish larvae exploring in neutral conditions as well as animals exposed to chemical gradients. Chemosensory integration in peripheral sensory organs modulates the activity of motor centers in the brain in order to change direction, speed and sequences of bouts during exploration. This PhD project will unravel the algorithm deployed by zebrafish larva to navigate and the underlying neuronal circuits using population imaging, genetics, optogenetics, and in vivo electrophysiology in order to build an integrated circuit model of zebrafish navigation.


  • Publication 1: Knafo S, Fidelin K, Prendergast A, Tseng PE, Parrin A, Dickey CW, Bohm UL, Nunes Figueiredo S, Thouvenin O, Pascal-Moussellard H, Wyart C# [2017]. Mechanosensory neurons control the timing of spinal microcircuit selection during locomotion. eLife 6:e25260 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.25260.

  • Publication 2: Hubbard J, Böhm U, Prendergast A, Tseng PE, Stokes C, Newman M, Wyart C# [2016]. GABAergic sensory neurons project onto key elements of the escape circuit, Current Biology 26: 2841-2853.

  • Publication 3: Severi, KE, Böhm, UL, Wyart C# [2018]. Investigation of hindbrain activity during active locomotion reveals inhibitory neurons involved in sensorimotor processing, Scientific Reports, 8:13615.