We study how animal behavior emerges from the complex interaction amongst the animal's nervous systems, their muscle-body dynamics and their environment.

 

We use fruitflies (Drosophila melanogaster) as our model organism because they perform many complex behaviors with a relatively simple brain, and because of the many genetic tools that are available in the flies.

 

We employ a multi-pronged approach which includes in vivo whole-cell patch clamp recordings, quantitative measurement of behavior, biomechanics and computation. We have ongoing collaboration with two other Duke labs: Prof. Jeff Beck's lab in the department of Neurobiology and Prof. Yiyang Gong's lab in the department of Biomedical Engineering.