The long-term goal of the Jeanne Lab is to understand how higher-order neural functions—such as sensory perception, memory, and decision making—arise from elementary circuit mechanisms. We believe that we can achieve this by studying neural computation, which provides a common language to link circuit mechanisms to higher-order function.
Our mission is therefore
To understand how common biophysical, cellular, and circuit motifs implement relevant computations.
To elucidate the higher-order neural functions and behavior enabled by these computations.
Our approach is to study neural computation in the fruit fly. We use the fly because their mini-brains are simpler to understand, yet nonetheless capable of performing a suite of sophisticated neural and behavioral functions.
Specific questions of interest include
How does the brain combine information from distinct sensory channels? How does the brain transform this information into a format more useful for behavior?
How does the brain combine information over time? Neurons operate on timescales faster than many behaviors. How do neural circuits bridge this gap in timescale?
How do ensembles of neurons interact to control behavioral choices?