Neural mechanisms of memory, motivation and individuality


  • Prof Scott Waddell

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Learning allows animals to convert innate reflexive behavioural responses into meaningful actions that are guided by stimuli.

I will investigate how sensory-motor transformations are implemented and altered in the nervous system. I will use genetic, genomic, anatomical, physiological and behavioural approaches to study these neural mechanisms in the fruit fly. I will look at dopaminergic control of reward learning, behaviour motivated by hunger and thirst, and memory re-evaluation. I will also investigate whether transposon sequences in the genome contribute to functional heterogeneity in neurons and behavioural individuality.

Our findings will improve our knowledge about neural mechanisms behind memory, motivation and individuality.