My research focuses on the neuronal basis of the sky-compass system in honeybees. So far, their astonishing abilities regarding orientation and navigation using sky-compass signals has been studies mainly in behavioral exeriments. The physiology of the neuronal system providing signal processing and behavioral output is currently largely unknown.
In my project I therefore try to uncover the physiology of neurons that are involved in the sky-compass system using calcium-imaging. To this end I inject calcium indicators into specific visual centers and record the calcium signals in living, behaving honeybees.
Held, M., Berz, A., Hensgen, R., Muenz, T. S., Scholl, C., Rössler, W., Homberg, U., and Pfeiffer, K. (2016) Microglomerular Synaptic Complexes in the Sky-Compass Network of the Honeybee Connect Parallel Pathways from the Anterior Optic Tubercle to the Central Complex, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10, 186.
Zeller, M., Held, M., Bender, J., Berz, A., Heinloth, T., Hellfritz, T., and Pfeiffer, K. (2015) Transmedulla Neurons in the Sky Compass Network of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) are a Possible Site of Circadian Input, PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science 10, 1-25.