Équipe Tihana Jovanic

Circuits neuronaux et comportement

En bref

Tous les animaux sont constamment confrontés à plusieurs options parmi lesquelles ils doivent choisir en fonction du contexte et de leur état interne. Nous étudions comment un groupe de neurones interagit dans le réseau afin d’assurer que les comportements appropriés sont sélectionnés et correctement ordonnés dans un environnement changeant. Nous utilisons un modèle puissant avec un système nerveux compact et facilement manipulable : la larve de la mouche du vinaigre. Au laboratoire, nous combinons plusieurs approches expérimentales, de l’analyse détaillée du comportement et de la connectivité neuronale jusqu’à l’imagerie de l’activité des neurones chez des animaux vivants.

Notre recherche

Making appropriate behavioral choices depending on the environment and one’s internal state is essential for survival. In addition, a key feature of behavior is that it is frequently organized in sequences of actions. The neural bases of the decision-making process that leads to appropriate behavioral choices and of the sequence generation mechanism that ensure the proper ordering of individual elements in an action sequence are poorly understood at a circuit and single neuron level.

In our research, we exploit the advantages of the exquisite genetic tools available in Drosophila for manipulation and monitoring of neuronal activity at single neuron level and the numerical simplicity of the larval nervous system that allows the reconstruction of synaptic connectivity across the nervous system using large-scale electron microscopy to study the structure and function of the neural circuits for sensorimotor decisions and action sequences. We focus on three main aims :

• Aim 1. Determine how contextual information modulates behavioral choices.
• Aim 2. Define the brain-wide mechanism underlying competitive interactions between multiple actions.
• Aim 3. Determine the circuit mechanism underlying the production of longer innate sequences.

Circuit underlying the selection between a hunch and a bend. Schematic representation of the circuit based on EM reconstruction data. The width of the line is proportional to synaptic strength. (Jovanic, Scheinder-Mizell and al., cell, 2016).

If you are interested in our research, you are welcome to contact us by email.
We are interested in applications from motivated graduate students and postdocs. We will also consider internship requests of undergraduates, both in the field of biology, engineering and computational methods for data analysis.

Publications Choisies

> Masson, J.-B.°, Laurent, F., Cardona, A., Barre, C., Skatchkovsky, N., Truman, J.W., Zlatic, M.°, and Jovanic, T.° Identifying neural substrates of competitive interactions and sequence transitions during mechanosensory responses in Drosophila. (PLos genetics, 2020, vol 16(2) e1008589) (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008589)

> Tihana Jovanic, Studying decision-making in Drosophila larvae, a perspective (Journal of Neurogenetics, 2020, vol.55, p.1-9) (https://doi.org/10.1080/01677063.2020.1719407)

> T. Jovanic°, M.Winding, J.Truman, A.Cardona, M. Gershow° and M. Zlatic° Neural substrates of Drosophila larval anemotaxis (Current Biology, 2019 Feb 18;29(4):554–4.) (https://doi.org/10.1101/244608)

> T. Jovanic*, C. Schneider-Mizell*, M. Shao, JB Masson, G. Dennisov, R. Fetter, B. Mensch, J. Truman, A. Cardona, and M. Zlatic - Competitive disinhibition mediates behavioral choice and sequences in Drosophila, Cell, 2016 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.009)

° Highlighted in a Dispatch in Current biology by Kristan WB: Functional Connectomics: How Maggots Make Up Their Minds, Current biology, 2017 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.031)

* these authors contributed equally

Membres de l'équipe

 

Alumni

Maryam Remdane, étudiante de Master
Alexandre Petitmangin,
Erwan Maury