Social Communication and Sensorimotor Transformations
We focus primarily on the acoustic communication system of Drosophila. Similar to other animals, flies produce and process patterned sounds during their mating ritual: typically males generate courtship songs via wing vibration, while females arbitrate mating decisions. Sensory processing plays a role not only in detecting and responding to species-specific songs, but also in generating these dynamic acoustic signals.
Drosophila, with its relatively simple nervous system, robust and complex mating behaviors, amenability for in vivo neural recordings, and large genetic and molecular toolkit offers an ideal system in which to examine questions about sensory coding and the modulation of behavior.