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 Neuroscience10, 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 Science10, 1-25.