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Group Thum

Neuronal, molecular and behavioral basis of learning and memory in Drosophila larvae

Animals as well as humans need to organize their behavior. Thereby the brain uses past experience to evaluate environmental stimuli in the background of an individual’s state to select for an appropriate behavior. For centuries, researchers in the functional brain sciences have been mapping properties of behavior to areas of the brain. But a mechanistic understanding of brain and behavior is still lacking.

Based on its neuronal simplicity the Drosophila larvae has turned into an elementary model system for studying brain functions and even allows for meaningful comparisons with other insects or mammals. In our lab we use anatomical, behavioral and molecular approaches to identify the fundamental processes involved in larval associative conditioning. The results will provide insights into how learning and memory is organized on multiple levels within a simple brain. Ultimately our work will help to tackle the fundamental challenge of today's neuroscience - to establish a simple, generally accepted model of the brain.

Members of this group:

Apostolopoulou, AnthiPhD student
Pfitzenmaier, JohannaPhD student
Rist, AnnaPhD student
Rohwedder, AstridGuest
Dr.Thum, AndreasFaculty
Widmann, AnnekathrinPhD student