To delineate the circuits and mechanisms that allow animals to adjust their behavior to context, we use circuits through the superior colliculus (SC) as a model system. We label cell-type specific inputs and outputs using rabies and other viral tools to study the mechanisms that allow for adaptation of visually-guided innate aversive behaviors. Using standardized visual stimuli, we characterize innate behaviors of rodents, and Neuropixels probes and calcium imaging enable us to record neural correlates of stimulus, state and behavior in-vivo. In addition to mice (Mus), we use different species of Peromyscus (deer mice) to investigate how innate behaviors and the underlying circuits evolved in different ecological niches.
Our two Peromyscus species as seen by Fosca Zoccolan.