This project will use computational modelling, calcium imaging and optogenetics to discover neuronal population codes controlling specialized motor programs used during visually guided behaviors such as hunting.
Animals produce a rich repertoire of behaviors that in larval zebrafish includes specialized locomotor actions deployed during prey-catching. This project will uncover the descending commands issued by supraspinal circuits that control specific locomotor outputs. Calcium imaging data from reticulospinal populations will be combined with causal inference modelling to build circuit models that will be tested and refined using manipulations including 3D-patterned optogenetics. Overall the project will discover supraspinal population codes controlling defined visuomotor behaviors.
Publication 1: Lau JYN, Bianco IH, Severi KE. Cellular-level understanding of supraspinal control: what can be learned from zebrafish? Curr Opin Physiol (2019) doi.org/10.1016/j.cophys.2019.01.013.
Publication 2: Antinucci P, Folgueira M, Bianco IH*. A pretectal command system controls hunting behaviour. biorXiv, doi.org/10.1101/637215.
Publication 3: Henriques PM, Rahman N, Jackson SE, Bianco IH*. Nucleus Isthmi is required to sustain target pursuit during visually guided prey-catching. Current Biology (2019) 29:1-16. doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.064.