Speaker: Anita Devineni
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Emory University
Title: Mechanisms of sensory processing and behavioral flexibility in the fly taste system
Abstract: A central question is how the brain interprets cues from the world, integrates them with internal signals about an animal’s state, and selects an appropriate behavioral response. My lab investigates this question in the taste system of the fruit fly Drosophila. I will present recent and ongoing work characterizing molecular, cellular, and neural mechanisms of sensory processing and modulation in the taste system. Specifically, I will discuss: 1) mechanisms underlying a hunger-dependent switch in taste behavior, 2) temporal dynamics in neuronal responses to taste, and 3) integration of different kinds of taste information in the brain.
About the Speaker: Dr. Devineni attended Stanford University for her undergraduate studies, where she received a B.S. in Biological Sciences with honors in Neurobiology. She completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of California San Francisco, where she worked with Ulrike Heberlein to study mechanisms of addiction-like behavior in Drosophila. She then began to study chemosensory processing during her postdoctoral work at Columbia University in Richard Axel’s lab. She started as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Emory University in 2022. Her lab uses the Drosophila taste system to investigate how the brain integrates internal and external cues to generate flexible behavior.