Our long term goal is to understand how sensory stimuli are used to build an internal representation of the physical world, and how this representation is in turn processed into our actions and behaviors. For this, our laboratory studies temperature sensing and preference in the fruit fly Drosophila. How are hot and cold stimuli detected at the periphery? How are they processed in the brain? How are they integrated with additional sensory streams and internal drives to produce behaviors such as attraction and avoidance? Using the fly as a model system is allowing us to study the basic principles of decision making and motivated behavior in an animal with only 100 thousand neurons (rather than our ~100 billion), and taking advantage of a highly sophisticated experimental toolkit.


Marco Gallio (