The main focus of my research is on the neuronal basis of spatial orientation in insects, specifically on sky-compass orientation. I am particularly interested in how different sky-compass signals, like the sun’s position, the polarization pattern and the color gradient of the sky are integrated and weighted, and how the processing in the brain is adjusted in the course of the day according to the changes in solar position.
- 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.
- Bech, M., Homberg, U., and Pfeiffer, K. (2014) Receptive Fields of Locust Brain Neurons Are Matched to Polarization Patterns of the Sky, Current Biology24, 2124 - 2129.
- Pfeiffer, K., and French, A. S. (2009) GABAergic Excitation of Spider Mechanoreceptors Increases Information Capacity by Increasing Entropy Rather than Decreasing Jitter, Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience29, 10989--10994.
- Pfeiffer, K., and Homberg, U. (2007) Coding of Azimuthal Directions via Time-Compensated Combination of Celestial Compass Cues, Current Biology17, 960 - 965.