Function of an interhemispheric neural circuit in zebrafish visual system
Dates:1 September 2016 - 31 December 2016
Date limite de candidature:1 September 2016
Lab rotation proposal: 3 months
~ Sep-Dec 2016 ~ Jan-March 2017 ~ Apr-June 2017
A salient feature of the nervous system of all bilateral animals is the existence of commissural neurons (CNs) reaching from one side to the other and enabling sensory integration as well as motor coordination from the two sides. In the mammalian visual system the parallel existence of crossed and uncrossed pathways from the eyes to the brain is usually considered a prerequisite for neural circuits underlying this binocular computation. Zebrafish larvae eyes, although situated at the side of the head, can converge to generate a substantial binocular visual field potentially used for object-distance estimation. However, the zebrafish larva has entirely crossed projections from the eyes to the visual brain. The generation of neuronal binocular responses at this connectional level, as is the case e.g. in mammals, is thus unlikely and integration of the visual information between the two halves of the optic tectum must rely on a different neural substrate.Recently, we presented a possible solution to this problem by genetically labeling a not before described commissural neuron population interconnecting the tectal hemispheres. We will take advantage of our in-house transgenic lines to elucidate the physiological function of these neurons within the tectal circuit and their contribution to binocular information integration.
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