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Drosophila sensory neurons tile the larval body wall, Dr. Chun Han

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Nirao Shah

Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors in Mammals

How does the brain encode sex-specific behaviors? We study this question in mice, which exhibit dimorphisms in many behaviors, including courtship, aggression and nursing. Behavioral dimorphisms result from anatomic or molecular sex differences in neural circuits. We use molecular and genetic techniques to identify neural centers with sexual dimorphisms in anatomy or gene expression. We are using genetic strategies to assess the behavioral contributions of these neurons and to map their connectivity. Ultimately our studies should allow us to link neural circuits with sensory input and dimorphic behaviors, and to understand how these circuits accommodate experience to modify behavioral output.