We use visually-guided behavior as a model to understand how sensory information is used to guide behavior. In particular, we focus on the optokinetic response (OKR), a reflexive movement of the eyes in response to whole-field rotation. Using a two-photon microscope and a light-sheet microscope, we image the activity of neurons throughout the brains of zebrafish larvae. Simultaneously, we track their eye and tail movements in response to a variety of stimuli that result in the movement of both eyes and tail. In this way, we aim to understand how the responses of different brain areas relate to sensory or motor aspects of the behavior. Taking advantage of the high imaging rates of the light-sheet microscope, we aim to answer questions about the dynamics of brain activity during this behavior. Using transgenic lines that label specific subsets of neurons, we can elaborate hypothesis of how different neuronal types or populations may participate in the behavior. To test the contribution of different brain areas to behavior, we manipulate neuronal activity using ablations or optogenetic tools.


Feierstein, C.E., Portugues, R., Orger, M.B. Seeing the whole picture: a comprehensive imaging approach to functional mapping of circuits in behaving zebrafish. Neuroscience (2015), 296:26-38..

Portugues R., Feierstein C.E., Engert F., Orger M.B. Whole-brain activity maps reveal stereotyped, distributed networks for visuomotor behavior. Neuron (2014), 81(6):1328-43.
(*) Equal contribution

Feierstein, C.E. Linking adult olfactory neurogenesis to social behavior. Front. Neurosci. (2012), 6:173. 

Feierstein, C.E., Lazarini, F., Wagner, S., Gabellec, M.M., de Chaumont, F., Olivo-Marin, J.C., Boussin, F.D., Lledo, P.-M, Gheusi, G. Disruption of adult neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb affects social interaction but not maternal behavior. Front Behav Neurosci. (2010), 4:176.

Feierstein, C.E., Quirk, M.C., Uchida, N., Sosulski D.L. and Mainen, Z.F. Representation of spatial goals in rat orbitofrontal cortex. Neuron (2006), 51:495-507.

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