Making Sense of Sensory Connections

"Although these results were obtained from experiments with insects, the components of the mechanism exist also in vertebrate, including mammalian, brains which means that what we describe may be of wide applicability," says Stijn Cassenaer (PhD '08), a Broad Senior Research Fellow in brain circuitry at Caltech and lead author of a paper—published in the journal Nature on January 25—that outlined the findings. The study focused on insects because their nervous systems are smaller, and thus likely to reveal their secrets sooner than those of their vertebrate counterparts.