Neurogenetic dissection of group formation: Integrating cues from food, friends and foes

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


Most organisms form social groups to increases their chances of survival and reproduction, but these benefits may have hidden costs when aggregation leads to overcrowding. Different sensory cues can provide information about these costs and benefits, but the mechanisms employed by the brain to integrate these different cues are poorly understood. In order to build a stronger interface between ecology and neuroscience we use fruit flies to study how the complexity of odors sensed during social interactions may lead to group joining or group avoidance. By using various behavioral assays, we have identified a panel of ecologically relevant cues, such as food odors, pheromones, and repellents that are indicative for group formation. In ongoing experiments, we are linking these odors to specific peripheral receptors and neuronal circuits.
Event titleNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2020
Event typeConference
Conference number13
Organiser Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
LocationLunteren, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational