Neurobiology Invited Seminar
Thomas Clandinin, hosted by Eva Naumann
Duke Neurobiology welcomes Thomas Clandinin, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University. Dr. Clandinin will present "Dissecting the evolutionary trajectory and neural control of walking" LIVE in 103 Bryan and his seminar includes a Zoom simulcast. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link. ABSTRACT: Walking is an essential behavior for many terrestrial animals. However, the evolutionary trajectory of walking is unknown, and its neural architecture has never been described at brain-wide scale. How does the structure of walking behavior change over evolutionary timescales? How is the brain organized to support different movements? By quantitatively comparing walking across drosophilid species and strains, we describe how the temporal structure of walking evolves rapidly, reflecting changes in sequences of movements. Using high spatial resolution measurements of neural activity taken across the entire brain of walking flies, we define spatially clustered neural signals selectively associated with specific changes in forward or angular velocity. Intriguingly, these regions are engaged in characteristic temporal sequences, suggesting a model for how walking maneuvers emerge. Our results suggest that the modular structure and neural control of walking supports both rapid evolutionary change and robust execution.