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The project team performed a set of primary screens in the Drosophila larva to identify neuron classes involved in sensory processing, motor pattern generation and sensory-motor transformations.
By concurrently inactivating small subsets of neurons and testing the reactions of larvae to different sensory stimuli while these neurons are inactivated, we plan to systematically characterize the function of neurons in the larval central nervous system.
In addition to identifying the neurons required for the processing of major sensory modalities, the generation of motor patterns and sensory-motor transformations, we aim to also define higher order circuits required for learning associations between sensory stimuli. The Larval Olympiad is a collaborative project that integrates the efforts of many Drosophila larval behavior experts around the world including labs at Janelia: Kristin Branson, Lynn Riddiford, Gerry Rubin, James Truman and Marta Zlatic and the labs of visiting scientists: Bertram Gerber (University of Würzburg), Raúl Godoy-Herrera (University of Chile), Matthieu Louis (Center for Genomic Regulation), Christen Mirth (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia), Aravi Samuel (Harvard University), Simon Sprecher (University of Fribourg) and Andreas S. Thum (University of Fribourg).