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Vasconcelos Lab

Vasconcelos Lab

Animals exhibit behavioral repertoires that are often innate and result in stereotyped sexual and social responses to their environment. Innate behaviors do not require learning or experience and are likely to reflect the activation of developmentally programmed neural circuits. We are interested in the nature of defined neural circuits: how activation of circuits elicits specific behaviors.

It has been extremely difficult in complex organisms to study a circuit beyond the early stages of sensory processing. Drosophila melanogaster is an attractive model system to understand a circuit because flies exhibit complex behaviors that are controlled by a nervous system that is numerically five orders of magnitude simpler than that of vertebrates.

We use a combined behavioral, genetic, imaging and electrophysiological approach to determine how defined neural circuits and their activation elicit specific behaviors.


Get in touch

To find out more about our lab, contact Maria Luísa Vasconcelos via email.


Vasconcelos Lab

Know our Team

Maria Luísa Vasconcelos

Principal Investigator

Nuno Machado

Postdoctoral Researcher

Saheli Roy

2021 INPDP PHD Student

Sara Santos

Masters Student


Vasconcelos Lab

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