This book offers representative examples from fly and mouse models to illustrate the ongoing success of the synergistic, state-of-the-art strategy, focusing on the ways it enhances our understanding of sensory processing. The authors focus on sensory systems (vision, olfaction), which are particularly powerful models for probing the development, connectivity, and function of neural circuits, to answer this question: How do individual nerve cells functionally cooperate to guide behavioral responses? Two genetically tractable species, mice and flies, together significantly further our understanding of these processes.
Current efforts focus on integrating knowledge gained from three interrelated fields of research: (1) understanding how the fates of different cell types are specified during development, (2) revealing the synaptic connections between identified cell types ("connectomics") using high-resolution three-dimensional circuit anatomy, and (3) causal testing of how iden
tified circuit elements contribute to visual perception and behavior.
Mathias Wernet is currently a professor of Neurobiology at the Freie University of Berlin. His current research deals with the neural circuitry underlying visual behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster and integrates studies spanning anatomy, behavior, and physiology.
Arzu Celik is a professor of Developmental Neurobiology at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her research focuses on the generation of neuronal diversity and mechanisms of axon guidance in the visual and olfactory systems of Drosophila melanogaster.
1. Note from the editors.- 2. Overview: The current state of neural circuit dissection in genetic model organisms.- Part I: High-resultion Neuroanatomy using molecular-genetic tools.- 3. Neuroanatomical techniques in invertebrate model organisms (flies, worms).- 4. Neuroanatomical techniques in vertebrate model systems (mice, monkeys).- 5. The current state of whole-brain connectomics in invertebrates.- 6. The progress in large-scale connectomics in vertebrates.- 7. Establishing synaptic connection the invertebrate brain (neural superposition?).- 8. Target selection and synaptogenesis in vertebrate models.- Part II: The behavioral contributions of identified circuit elements.- 9. Behavioral paradigms for dissecting neural circuitry in invertebrates.- 10. Behavioral paradigms for dissecting neural circuitry in vertebrates.- 11. Targeted disruption of neuronal activity in behaving invertebrate models.- 12. Circuit breaking and optogenetics in vertebrates.- 13. Modeling of neural circuits in invertebrates.- 14. Modeling of neural circuits in vertebrates.- Part III: The functional contribution of identified cells to the circuit.- 15. The electrophysiological characterization of identified invertebrate circuit elements.- 16. Electrophysiology in combination with molecular genetic tools in vertebrates.- 17. Genetically encoded activity sensors in invertebrates.- 18. Genetically encoded activity sensors in vertebrates.- 19. Combining circuit breaking tools and the visualization of activity in invertebrates.- 20. Visualization of neuronal activity while circuit breaking in vertebrates.- Part IV: Molecular determinants of cell type diversity.- 21. The developmental origin of cell type diversity in invertebrate brains.- 22. The development of neuronal cell type diversity in the vertebrate brain.- 23. Transcriptional profiling of identified circuit elements in invertebrates.- 24. Transcriptional profiling in neural circuits in vertebrates.