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Vidal-Gadea Lab

Molecular Neuroethology Lab


To thrive, animals must successfully interact with their environment (i.e. behave). These interactions are often complex and include: 1) detecting relevant stimuli (sensation), 2) processing information and selecting appropriate outputs (integration), and 3) performing selected patterns of activity (execution). Nervous systems, operating under constant genetic regulation, mediate these diverse tasks. Understanding the neuro-molecular basis of behavior is necessary in order to discern the principles governing animal (and human) behavior. This knowledge will further allow us to understand and target disease and other challenges (e.g. aging).

Our lab works to elucidate the neuronal and genetic basis of behavior. We use a three-pronged approach to investigate the components of behavior enumerated above. We tackle each of these processes by focusing on distinct questions selected both for their independent merits and for their potential to advance our understanding of the principles governing animal behavior. We use invertebrates as our animal models because they have succinct nervous systems, and are experimentally amenable. Techniques in our lab range from behavioral analysis, microscopy, immunohistochemistry, molecular tools (e.g. cloning, transgenesis, RNAi, qPCR), optogenetics, calcium ratiometry, and more. 


Vidal-Gadea Lab   

School of Biological Sciences
Illinois State University 
251 Science Laboratory Building
Campus Box 4120
Normal, Illinois 61790-4120
Office: (309) 438-5220
Lab: (309) 438-2643

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