Janelia Research campus
To survive in dynamic environments, animals shift between behavioral states based on their recent experience. Because these shifts are supported by neuronal networks that can be distributed throughout the brain, we have developed whole-brain cell-resolution light-sheet calcium imaging techniques to image activity in almost all neurons in larval zebrafish swimming in virtual environments. Since glial cells exhibit dynamic responses and intimately associate with neurons throughout the entire brain, we also developed tools for imaging and manipulating astrocytes during behavior. We discovered that astrocytes, driven by noradrenergic neuromodulatory neurons, accumulate evidence that current actions are ineffective and consequently drive sudden changes in behavioral states. In this talk I will report on these findings. I will also discuss the role of a complementary neuromodulatory system for motor learning. Finally, I will discuss the dynamic routing of visual information to the serotonergic, noradrenergic, or other hindbrain motor control circuitry depending on the timing between visual information and motor output, and how this multiregional system underlies behavioral state changes, motor learning, and short-term stimulus memory.