Emulating Fruit Fly Brain Circuits

Projects Description

The fruit fly is an exceedingly useful model organism for studying the causal links between neural circuits and behavior due to the numerical tractability of its brain and its powerful neurogenetic toolkit. Recent progress made in identifying the connectome of the fruit fly and in characterizing the input and output functions of its sensory neural circuits raise the possibility of creating and emulating a functional model of the entire fly brain using the increasingly powerful commodity parallel computing technology available to computational neuroscientists.

Students are expected to emulate and extensively explore the function of local processing units comprising the architecture of the fruit fly brain. Each project is offered as a 3.0+ credits course (such as ELEN E6002 - Advanced Projects, or ELEN E4998 - Intermediate Projects).


Familiarity with linear algebra and signal processing. Background in computational neuroscience (e.g., BMEB W4020) and/or deep learning (e.g., ECBM E4040) is recommended but it is not a prerequisite. Exposure to an introductory course in neuroscience/biology is a plus.

Programming Languages and Skills

  • Knowledge of Python is required.
  • Familiarity with interactive computing (e.g., Jupyter lab) is a plus.

How to Apply:

If you have any question, please send inquiries to Prof. Aurel A. Lazar. To apply, submit your CV/Resume to the same e-mail address.

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