Neuroethology: the study of the neural basis of behavior
Stomatopod crustaceans, or mantis shrimp, are best know for two things: their elaborate and complex compound eyes and their ultra-fast, ballistic strike. For a fun explanation of these stomatopod features, check out my stand-up comedy set HERE.
My present line of research is to investigate how the two systems are related. Specifically, which features of the visual system influence the decision to target and release the spring-loaded strike? And what are the neural controls of the strike? I am presently addressing these questions using sophisticated techniques found in the Fly Systems Laboratory (led by Dr. Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido) at the University of Cambridge. These techniques include high-speed video recording and analysis, electrophysiology, and neural cell labelling and tracing. Stay tuned for exciting results from this new line of research!
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