Recent advances in Neuroscience are demonstrating how the introduction of a new technique (such as viral tracing or optogenetics) makes it now possible to answer fundamental questions that have long been recalcitrant to traditional approaches. Mapping the structure and function of neural circuits is an important prerequisite to understand how groups of interconnected neurons produce perceptions and drive behavior. One existing challenge is to unambiguously identify both the activity and functional significance of specific connections (synapses) within a circuit. Here, we propose to develop an entirely new method to re-engineer the connectivity of brain circuits, by developmentally removing specific connections to test hypotheses on their significance. Our new reagents will allow us to developmentally re-wire connections in the intact brain in order to test specific hypotheses on circuit dynamics and behavior. As before, we will use the fruit fly Drosophila as a versatile platform to demonstrate their use in vivo.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/20 → 6/30/22|
- Kennedy Institute - National Eye Clinic (1R21EY031849-01)