Mapping Neuronal Circuitry using Brainbow zebrafish

How do neural circuits form in the developing brain?

Project Abstract

Brain function relies upon the precise organization of many neural circuits, which are sets of neurons that are arranged to connect with other cells in specific ways.  One fundamental question in neuroscience asks how neural circuits form from a simple developing tissue.  There is evidence that some simple circuits undergo an important process of refinement during development, where unnecessary connections are pruned away over time.  Relatively little is known, however, about how more complex circuits form and how their mature properties underlie behavior.  Our lab uses a multicolor approach (“Brainbow”) to label populations of cells in many different colors, allowing us to visualize and map multiple individual components of a complex circuit. We have applied this approach to the translucent developing zebrafish nervous system, where individual synapses can be visualized over time within the living animal.

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