Home Research Project Details B5 - Predictive properties of modulatory neurons in reinforcement learning in the fruit fly
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B5 - Predictive properties of modulatory neurons in reinforcement learning in the fruit fly

André Fiala and Florentin Wörgötter

Reinforcement learning (RL) is a fundamental adaptive process in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), which can learn to avoid punishment by associating an odor (CS) with an electric shock (US), reflected by prolonged dopaminergic (DA) responses. In vertebrates, reinforcement signals ("Critic") and motor signals ("Actor") remain separate in the basal ganglia. Flies, on the other hand, may exhibit a fundamentally different organization of DA-circuitry. Intriguingly, differential Hebbian learning theory (Diff.-Hebb) proposes a link between Actor and Critic. In this project we will experimentally assess as well as model the physiological circuitry of the fly DA-system. To this end, we will design a biophysical implementation of the Diff-Hebb 'Actor-joint-Critic' architecture. This model will be based on prior knowledge of structure and function of the fly DA-system and on general Diff.-Hebb theory. In parallel, experiments start with several testable predictions from the current theory. The specific outcome of these experiments will be used to improve and constrain the model. This study will, thus, be the first to biophysically model the fly sensori-motor & DA system. It will help to differentiate it from that in vertebrates and, thus, potentially identify fundamentally novel learning principles and architectures for reinforcement learning realized by biological neural systems.

Belongs to Group(s):
Molecular Neurobiology of Behaviour, Computational Neuroscience

Is part of  Section B 

Members working within this Project:
Herpich, Juliane 
Fiala, André 
Wörgötter, Florentin 

Selected Publication(s):

Barth, J, Dipt, S, Pech, U, Hermann, M, Riemensperger, T, and Fiala, A (2014).
Differential Associative Training Enhances Olfactory Acuity in Drosophila melanogaster
The Journal of Neuroscience 34(5):1819-1837.

Dipt, S, Riemensperger, T, and Fiala, A (2014).
Optical Calcium Imaging Using DNA-Encoded Fluorescence Sensors in Transgenic Fruit Flies, Drosophila melanogaster
Methods in Molecular Biology 1071:195-206.

Pech, U, Revelo, NH, Seitz, KJ, Rizzoli, SO, and Fiala, A (2014).
Optical Dissection of Experience-Dependent Pre- and Postsynaptic Plasticity in the Drosophila Brain
Cell Reports 10(12):2083-2095.

Faghihi, F, Kolodziejski, C, Fiala, A, Wörgötter, F, and Tetzlaff, C (2013).
An information theoretic model of information processing in the Drosophila olfactory system: the role of inhibitory neurons for system efficiency
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 7(Article 183):1-8.

Pech, U, Dipt, S, Barth, J, Singh, P, Jauch, M, Thum, AS, Fiala, A, and Riemensperger, T (2013).
Mushroom body miscellanea: transgenic Drosophila strains expressing anatomical and physiological sensor proteins in Kenyon cells
Front Neural Circuits 7(Article 147):1-14.

Pech, U, Pooryasin, A, Birman, S, and Fiala, A (2013).
Localization of the Contacts Between Kenyon Cells and Aminergic Neurons in the Drosophila melanogaster Brain Using SplitGFP Reconstitution
The Journal of Comparative Neurology 521:3992-4026.

Riemensperger, T, Issa, A, Pech, U, Coulom, H, Nguyen, M, Cassar, M, Jacquet, M, Fiala, A, and Birman, S (2013).
A single dopamine pathway underlies progressive locomotor deficits in a Drosophila model of Parkinson disease
Cell Reports 5(4):952-960.