What are the brain areas that process visual social information?

A basic map of the social brain network has already been drawn (O'Connell &Hofmann 2011). It includes all the areas that have been found activated during any social behaviours (mating, parenting, aggression, etc; see Figure 1). These areas seem to be highly conserved throughout vertebrates including zebrafish. We are interested in finding out what is the social preference network in zebrafish and compare it to the one in humans.

Figure 1. Interactive nodes of the networks regulating social decision-making (O'Connell &Hofmann 2011)






How and when do they develop?

We are now using techniques to identify what are the specific areas/neurons activated upon visual interaction with conspecifics and characterise in more detail the neuronal types in juvenile fish (ADD IMAGE SIDE FISH).

In addition, we want to understand how these specific social areas develop while zebrafish begin to show social behaviours (image of two brains a 1 week and a 3 week DAPI staining, so far I have only ventral but I need also top and side images, link to page with the gross anatomy of the zebrafish).


       1 week old zebrafish brain (DAPI staining)


     3 week old zebrafish brain (DAPI staining)