We want to create a blueprint that describes how the range of actions of a developing animal organize dynamically to produce adaptive interactions with the environment. Put another way, we want to understand how behaviour unfolds early in life.
To achieve this task, we study the zebrafish since they develop externally and are genetically amenable. They can be raised and observed in a fully controlled environment and the size of embryos and larvae makes it easier to investigate early actions using computer-vision-based methods. On top we can visualize and interfere with specific cell populations in the brain and the periphery whilst the animal is still alive.
Analyses of spontaneous activity and responses to stimuli to specify the ontogeny of random and goal directed actions.
Endocrinology to identify pathways that transform early signals outside the body into changes in bodily function.
Imaging and non-invasive optogenetics to study modulatory actions by specific cell populations.
I like to bring ideas and people together and continue to be engaged in projects on learning and group behaviour.
Interested in joining the lab?
Leave me a message or email me directly with a CV (R.J.DeMarco@ljmu.ac.uk). You will join a great community at LJMU.