Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Developing a Novel Naturalistic Perceptual Learning Paradigm in Drosophila
Disciplines:  Neuroscience, Behavioral biology
Mentor:  Elizabeth Hong, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, (BBE),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Drosophila is a power experimental model for understanding the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory, an important field of study that started right here at Caltech!. However, the vast majority of studies are done in the context of extremely non-physiological training paradigms that would never occur in the wild. There is a pressing need to develop new methods for training and testing sensory learning in flies that are more ethologically inspired
Description:  The goal of this project is to develop new perceptual learning paradigms for training and testing olfactory associations in Drosophila. The project requires design, construction, and testing of custom behavioral apparatuses, and integration of hardware with computer-based data acquisition. Students must be comfortable working in Matlab or be prepared to learn. Successful students will have priority in guiding future research stemming from the assay, including investigating whether flies can make statistical optimal perceptual inferences.
Student Requirements:  We seek independent and highly motivated students from all majors who are good problem solvers. For Caltech students, preference is given to students who are willing to commit to term time research prior to the summer of at least 9 hrs/week. Basic programming skills required.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       Amgen Scholars    Non-Caltech students only  
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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