Neuronal mechanisms of selecting an appropriate action
Neuronal mechanisms of action selection, or how the brain evaluates sensory conflicting options and selects an appropriate action, remains unknown. The EU-funded CourtEscape project aims to study neural mechanisms that govern the selection between competing options. Researchers will develop a novel assay where Drosophila fruit fly males will be confronted with visual threats during mating creating a conflict between survival and reproduction. The objective is to identify neurons whose involvement prevents males from blocking courtship in response to the threat, using optogenetic tools in combination with a behavioural screen. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a map of the neural network of action selection.