External stimuli (such as light or odour) trigger cellular and molecular processes that lead to behavioural changes. Drosophila larvae are good model organisms to study these processes both because of the available neurogenetic tools and because of the relative simplicity of its brain as it only has around 10.000 neurons, which can be specifically targeted.
The aim of my project is to study the change in larval behaviour depending on the external visual stimuli, such as light of a different intensity or a different wavelength.
Larvae consistently avoid light, making navigational decisions that are biased, but seem far from perfect. Our goal is to understand why their behaviour might actually make sense in the long term from a biological point of view.