Project Details


This project addresses a central question of neuroscience: How do animals use information from stimuli in their environment to guide natural behav- iors? Several factors support our plan to address this question by focusing on the olfactory system. Olfaction is an evolutionarily ancient sense. Animals gather odors from their environments to inform survival-critical behaviors such as finding food and mates, or avoiding predators and toxins. These natural behaviors can be largely replicated in lab settings, using stimuli that are natural in composition, and dynamics. Olfactory systems of mammals and insects have independently evolved common structural elements at successive levels of processing in their central nervous systems. Olfactory systems share these structural elements likely due to convergent evolution towards a set of similar solutions to shared olfactory problems. This convergence suggests that the comparative approach that we propose will lead to the discovery of fundamental principles and constraints that could not be discovered by study of a single species-which highlights the importance of the planned theoretical work. Because this project is interdisciplinary, comparative, and theory-driven, it will require a well-integrated team, working synergistically to address overlapping questions. We will coordinate our efforts to achieve convergence and synergy between team members from diverse backgrounds, expertise, and interests, that are key to the transformative potential of this work.
Short titleOdor2Action
Effective start/end date14/08/2031/12/24


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