Genetic control of circuit development and function in the optic tectum

Commissural interneurons are key to 3D perception in binocular vision, but their precise function remain elusive. In zebrafish larva, we found inter-tectal commissural neurons (ITNs) essential for prey capture. To interrogate the molecular and cellular nature of these neurons, we developed transgenic tools targeting these cells in the tectum. The main goal of this project is investigate the genetic identity, connectivity and mechanisms of action of ITNs and to test whether dopamine or serotonin can alter ITN activity in order to modulate the success of prey capture.


  • Publication 1: Di Donato V, De Santis F, Albadri S, Auer TO, Duroure K, Charpentier M, Concordet JP, Gebhardt C, Del Bene F: An Attractive Reelin Gradient Establishes Synaptic Lamination in the Vertebrate Visual System. Neuron 2018,Mar 7;97(5):1049-1062.e6. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.01.030.

  • Publication 2: Dunn TW, Gebhardt C, Naumann EA, Riegler C, Ahrens MB, Eng ert F, Del Bene F. Neural Circuits Underlying Visually Evoked Escapes in Larval Zebrafish. Neuron. 2016 Feb 3;89(3):613-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.021.

  • Publication 3: Gebhardt, C., Auer, T.O., Henriques, P.M., Rajan, G., Duroure, K., Bianco, I.H., Bene, F.D., 2019. An interhemispheric neural circuit allowing binocular integration in the optic tectum. Nat Commun 10, 1–12. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-13484-9