Animals are intrinsically computational. We acquire sensory information about our environments, transform this information into neural representations and memories, and calculate and execute decisions based on recent and past experiences. Our own brains are staggeringly complex, with billions of neurons networked by trillions of synapses. But the basic materials of our brains - molecular and cellular structures and interactions - are shared with our animal relatives. Well-chosen model organisms can be accessible vantage points with perspective over general biological principles. We study brain and behavior in the roundworm C. elegans and the Drosophila larva. Applying recent advances in microscopy and optics, we are able to manipulate and monitor the workings of the neural circuits of these intact behaving animals. In this way, we strive to link brain and behavior in these small but fascinating creatures.
JOB OPENINGS: If you are an undergraduate, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow with a background in biophysics, neuroscience, and/or physics who might be interested in joining our team, please contact Aravi Samuel. Harvard is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer. Applications from women and minorities are strongly encouraged.