Neuroscientist Mala Murthy and a multidisciplinary team at Princeton University want to understand what happens in the brain when animals process information, communicate and socialize.
Every day, people act in response to countless external stimuli, activities in the outside world that result in a specific behavior. An oncoming car causes a pedestrian in a bustling city to jump back to the curb. Someone tells a joke that makes you laugh. You call someone's name causing that person to stop and turn around.
Lords of the fruit flies: What goes into fruit fly courtship? It might seem like an odd question, but understanding its neural underpinnings--and studying the male-female interactions at the milliscale level--could help us better understand the complexities of social behavior. A Princeton University team--neuroscientist Mala Murthy and physicists William Bialek and Joshua Shaevitz--will stimulate recordings from individual neurons as the fruit flies (Drosophila) conduct complex courtship behaviors.
Pip Coen, who received his Ph.D. from the PNI Neuroscience program in February with advisor Mala Murthy, has received the 2015 Elkins Award. This award is given every two years to the graduate student with the best Ph.D. thesis in the field of Drosophila Neurobiology. Pip will deliver the Elkins Memorial Lecture at the Neurobiology of Drosophila Conference at Cold Spring Harbor, NY on September 30th (http://meetings.cshl.edu/meetings.aspx?meet=dros&year=15).