Carolina Rezaval

Carolina Rezaval’s lab investigates how the brain makes choices, using the fruit fly model, Drosophila

The goal of Carolina’s lab is to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying behavioural choices.  In life, we often experience situations where we are forced to prioritise one goal over another.  In nature, this could mean an animal having to choose between eating or escaping from a predator.  How does the brain select the most appropriate action for each situation?  We know that cues conveying external information (e.g. access to food, potential dangers) and internal state (e.g. fear, hunger) guide behavioural choices.  However, how the brain prioritises specific actions remains unknown.  Carolina’s research addresses this fascinating question using the fruit fly model, Drosophila.  By studying how the brain makes decisions at a genetic, cellular and circuit level, in an accessible experimental system, she aims to reveal fundamental principles underlying behavioural choices that might be present across species.

Techniques used by Carolina’s lab include genetics, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy, molecular biology, optogenetics/thermogenetics and behavioural assays.

Find out more