What the Fly’s Nose Tells the Fly’s Brain

May 28, 2015, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Charles F. Stevens, MD, PhD, Vincent J. Coates Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, R3012

Jennifer Aniston cells are neurons that are found to respond specifically to images—even cartoons—of Jennifer Aniston. To illustrate how such neurons can arise, Dr. Stevens will explore a simple example of this phenomenon: how neurons in the fly brain can respond specifically to any odor, even ones no fly has ever experienced before. event.speaker

Charles F. Stevens, MD, PhD

The goal of Dr. Stevens’s laboratory is to learn what classes of mathematical computations are carried out by neural circuits and what design principles govern the construction of these circuits. This research starts with various types of experimental data—relating to brain structure, function, and development—and uses techniques employed by theoretical physics to discover general biological principles that apply to the brain.