To execute accurate movements animals must continuously calibrate their behavior to changes in their bodies and the environment. This process, called sensorimotor adaption, is thought to take place by comparing sensory feedback with internal movement representations. How the brain compares sensory information to movements and updates behavior is not well understood for any animal species. We propose to tackle this problem by using the fruit fly, because, flies have a set of neurons (HS cells) that integrate movement with visual information, being ideal candidates to convey information of self-movement during learning. Also, in a wide array of species spanning from the C. elegans to mice, including the fruit fly, when animals transition to low locomotion states serotonergic neurons are active, being possible substrates to calibrate movements to visual feedback. Here, we propose a set of experiments to inhibit and activate HS cells and serotonergic neurons and casually link their activity to sensorimotor adaption. Also, we will record the neural activity from these neurons to understand how the neural signals in HS cells and serotonergic neurons change during motor learning. This project will provide a detailed mechanistic description on how representations of self-movement in the brain are modulated by serotonin and used for motor learning. This knowledge will be useful to inspire new motor learning theories and understand how the brain generates behavior.
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