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Optical Control of Neurons; Neuronal Control of Behaviour

Optogenetic control: a light beam is used to write information to nerve cells in the brain
Optogenetic control: a light beam is used to write information to nerve cells in the brain

For every mobile organism, life is a string of choices: to stay or go, approach or avoid, stay awake or fall asleep, pay attention or let the mind drift.

The Miesenböck group studies how the brain makes choices. We investigate how neurons represent and distinguish the available alternatives; how options are valued on the basis of instinct or remembered experience; how decisions evolve toward commitment; and how commitment leads to action.

All of this work is done in fruit flies, where it is possible to gain detailed insight into molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms of brain function that relate directly to human health.

The group is renowned for many technological innovations, including the invention of optogenetics, the development of genetically encoded probes for imaging neuronal activity, and the construction of automated systems for high-resolution measurement of individual behaviour.

We are based in the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour.

Our team

  • Gero Miesenboeck
    Gero Miesenboeck

    Waynflete Professor of Physiology

  • Clifford Talbot

    Staff Scientist/Instrumentation Engineer

  • Eleftheria Vrontou

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Anissa Kempf

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Susanne Szydlowski

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Lukas Groschner
    Lukas Groschner

    Postgraduate Student

  • Jan Kropf

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Manrique Moreno Gasulla

    Glass Washer and Laboratory Assistant

  • Katerina Christodoulou

    Research Technician

  • Ruth Brain

    Senior Research Assistant

  • Laura Chan Wah Hak

    Postgraduate Student

  • Diogo Pimentel

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

  • Michael Song
    Michael Song

    Postgraduate Student

Selected publications

Related research themes