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Genetic Dissection of Sexual Behaviour
We use Drosophila courtship behaviour to study how sex-specific neural circuitry and behaviors are established during development by the action of complex networks of genes. Our studies focus on two pivotal transcription factors of the sex-determination hierarchy, fruitless (fru) and doublesex (dsx) that act together to specify and configure both the anatomy and physiology of sex-specific neural circuitry. Ultimately we aim to understand how activity in functioning dimorphic neural circuits gives rise to a different sex-specific behavioural repertoire in the male and female fly. Our work has provided fundamental and original insight into how genetically determined variation in the structure and function of neural circuits gives rise to sex-specific differences in behaviour, and into the molecular mechanisms that underpin this variation.
We are part of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour along with the groups of Gero Miesenböck, and Scott Waddell.
In the News
A postcoital switch: mapping the changing behaviours in the female fruit fly's mind
Sex on the brain: 'Doublesex' gene key to determining fruit fly gender
Stephen receives Welcome Trust Senior Investigator Award
Stephen Goodwin's Q&A Current Biology
New York Times
Female fruit flies like one mate, or his brother
The Royal Society
The ‘in-law effect’ – male fruit flies sleep around but females keep it in the family
German Public Radio (Deutschlandfunk)
Der Sexschalter von Drosophilia
ABC Radio National Australia
The Science Show interviewed by Robyn Williams - Sex-specific behaviour revealed by fruit flies
Same genome, different worlds: How a similar brain causes sexually dimorphic behaviours
27 January 2021
A new paper from the Goodwin group based in DPAG's Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour has shown how males and females are programmed differently in terms of sex.
Nervous system cells defined in unprecedented detail
22 May 2020
The collaborating groups of Professor Stephen Goodwin and Professor Scott Waddell based in The Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (CNCB) are shedding new light on what precisely constitutes a neuronal cell type.
Postdoctoral researchers and students shine at Neuroscience Theme Day
6 June 2019
The talks given by Postdoctoral Research Scientists and Graduate Students highlighted the full range of research in DPAG, spanning molecular and cellular neuroscience all the way to systems neuroscience.
Winners of the DPAG Poster Day 2018 announced
3 December 2018
Congratulations to winner Dr Lukas Krone and runners-up Eboni Bucknor and Sebastian Birtles.
Neural pathways in complex mating rituals identified in fruit flies
16 November 2016
Scientists have identified the neural pathway in male fruit flies that allows them to perform their complex mating ritual, paving the way for deeper studies into sexual behavior and how it can be modified by social experience.
Three new Professors in DPAG
16 July 2015
This year’s exercise for the Recognition of Distinction awards Stephen Goodwin, Richard Wade-Martins and Clive Wilson for their outstanding academic contribution to DPAG and to the wider University.