One of the prime goals pursued by current neuroscientists is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how networks of neurons operate as a single brain to produce sensations, thoughts and behavior. This is a challenging endeavor because of the sheer complexity of mammalian nervous systems. To address this problem, at our lab we study the nematode C. elegans, which is equipped with a simple and anatomically well defined nervous system of just 302 neurons. Specifically, we combine powerful worm genetics, quantitative behavioral assays, and functional neuronal imaging techniques to elucidate the precise neural circuits that control oxygen chemosensory behaviors.
- McGrath, PT., Rockman, MV., Zimmer, M., Jang, H., Macosko, EZ., Kruglyak, L., Bargmann, CI. (2009). Quantitative mapping of a digenic behavioral trait implicates globin variation in C. elegans sensory behaviors. Neuron. 61(5):692-9 (abstract)
- Zimmer, M., Gray, JM., Pokala, N., Chang, AJ., Karow, DS., Marletta, MA., Hudson, ML., Morton, DB., Chronis, N., Bargmann, CI. (2009). Neurons detect increases and decreases in oxygen levels using distinct guanylate cyclases. Neuron. 61(6):865-79 (abstract)
- Chronis, N., Zimmer, M., Bargmann, CI. (2007). Microfluidics for in vivo imaging of neuronal and behavioral activity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nat Methods. 4(9):727-31 (abstract)