Neural Circuits and Olfactory Perception in Drosophila

Dr. Moshe Parnas, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

We are exploring the various mechanisms by which neural circuits encode information and support behavior, learning and memory. In addition, we are studying how the connectivity and activity of such circuits and neural networks are affected by molecular mechanisms underlying brain disorders. We use a multidisciplinary approach, with the Drosophila olfaction system as our model system. Our studies incorporate in vivo whole cell patch recordings, in vivo functional imaging, behavior experiments, molecular biology, mathematical modelling and genetics.

Projects in the lab include:

  1. Intensity and identity coding in a multidimensional sensory system – the Drosophila olfactory system.
  2. Neuropeptidergic modulation of olfaction and its effect on odour perception.
  3. The role of deregulated channel proteins and altered neuronal function in Frontotemporal Dementia.
  4. A novel multifaceted approach to study the mechanisms underlying the effects of human genes associated with schizophrenia using Drosophila.


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