Harold Burgess's Unit on Behavioral Neurogenetics studies the development and function of neural circuits required for motor control in larval zebrafish. Brainstem circuits, which control behavior in zebrafish larvae, represent the core of the movement control system in higher vertebrates and are impaired in numerous neurological disorders. The Unit applies computational analysis to high-speed video recordings of larvae challenged with distinct sensory stimuli to determine the function of identified brainstem neurons in transgenic fish. Burgess's group has generated novel transgenic fish lines to study how distinct cohorts of neurons in the serotonergic raphe nuclei modulate behavior. In addition, the group is currently mapping genetic mutations that impair normal modulation of the startle response and that phenocopy deficits in prepulse inhibition in schizophrenic patients.
All related news