What we do

We investigate the origins of behavioral individuality

The Linneweber lab investigates the developmental origins of behavioral individuality. Our primary model organism is the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, but we also recently started using non-model Drosophila species and the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We use a full repertoire of behavioral assays and methods to visualize brain wiring.

Source of Funding

The DFG Emmy Noether programme

The DFG research group “The circuit variability underlying Drosophila behavioral individuality” founded our lab. We are incredibly grateful for the generous contribution of the DFG.

The DFG Research unit RobustCircuit

From Imprecision to Robustness in Neural Circuit Assembly

Current projects

Understanding the Origins of Individuality

Why are we all different, and where does this variability come from? These are critical questions in Neurobiology and Psychology and guide our research. We use the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster and several visual and non-visually guided behaviors to answer these questions.

Individual variability in visual and non-visual behaviors

We are investigating individual behavioral variability in several different behaviors. These include classical assays in the visual system, but we are also experimenting with non-visual behaviors such as circadian rhythmicity, aggression, and courtship. In the long run, we hope to understand how exactly these interindividual differences are generated.

The circuit variability behind individuality

We are interested to understand the circuit-wide differences between individuals of a species. Is variability equally distributed throughout the brain, or are some neurons more stereotypic than others? We are using a combination of electron microscopy reconstruction and light microscopic variability analysis to investigate this.

Stability of Individuality – what a brain needs for reproducible behaviors

Individual variability is a fundamental feature of all members of a species. Is this individual variability a bug or a feature? To investigate this, we are exploring the essential requirements for individual differences. Are there genetic pathways that mediate individual differences and stability? These questions are related to human disease states affecting individuality.

Joining us

If you are interested in what you read so far and are thinking of joining us as a postdoc or graduate student or undergraduate student, please get in touch! We are accepting applications all year round. Please send all informal inquiries to Gerit Linneweber.