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Imagine what must be happening in your brain as you view these images and read this page. Are you now sitting, standing, scrolling using a trackpad or a mouse? Are you listening to music, or perhaps diverting your eyes and scanning the visual field around you?


Survival depends critically upon perception and behavior, and behavior is mediated by the intricate wiring and patterned activity of neurons, from several tens to tens of billions of neurons.


Almost every animal on the planet uses very similar neurons, chemicals and electrical interactions to extract information from energy around them, encode that information, represent it in patterns of interactions within complex neural circuits that frame inferences about the environment, and then coordinate patterns of motor outputs that enable interaction with the external world. 


We study the medicinal leech as a model system


Research in the Jellies lab is directed at understanding how nervous systems emerge and function to mediate perception and behavior.


Action Potential.

A relatively rapid change in voltage as a function of time.

The single syllable chirps in the universal language that neurons use to communicate with each other and target cells


Some of the questions we are interested in include:


  • How are complex images encoded and represented using arrays of non-image-forming eyes?



  • How are multiple streams of sensory information encoded and integrated to evoke adaptive behavior?



  • How do neural circuits change their function over time and with changing conditions (i.e., development, learning, adaptation and plasticity)?



  • How do peripheral neural circuits and muscle targets translate and elaborate the motor commands arising in the central nervous system?

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