New Article on bioRxiv: “Whole-brain neural substrates of behavioral variability in the larval zebrafish”

We are happy to announce that a new manuscript entitled “Whole-brain neural substrates of behavioral variability in the larval zebrafish” has been uploaded to the bioRxiv preprint server.

Animals engaged in naturalistic behavior can exhibit a large degree of behavioral variability even under sensory invariant conditions. Such behavioral variability can include not only variations of the same behavior, but also variability across qualitatively different behaviors driven by divergent cognitive states, such as fight-or-flight decisions. However, the neural circuit mechanisms that generate such divergent behaviors across trials are not well understood. To investigate this question, here we studied the visual-evoked responses of larval zebrafish to moving objects of various sizes, which we found exhibited highly variable and divergent responses across repetitions of the same stimulus.

In this work, we present a Fourier light field microscope (fLFM) that was optimized for high-resolution, whole brain recoding of neuronal activity in the larval zebrafish. Within these recordings, we sought to screen for the neural loci which drive or encode information related to behavioral variability across trials. Our results provide the first whole-brain confirmation that sensory, motor, and internal variables are encoded in a highly mixed fashion throughout the brain and demonstrate that de-mixing each of these components at the neuronal population level is critical to understanding the mechanisms underlying the brain’s remarkable flexibility and robustness.

Read our full publication here.

Congratulations to the entire team!