Dr. Wen-Chang Li
The research in my lab uses young Xenopus laevis tadpoles as a simple model system to study the basic neuronal mechanisms underlying motor control. Apart from basic motor reflexes, tadpoles can swim forward when touched and struggle when held, with both behaviour powered by axial muscles. They also exhibit some acute, concussion-like response when swim into solid objects. The tadpole spinal cord and hindbrain are simple and highly accessible for recordings, making it an ideal place to investigate rules that may be common to the movements of different animal species. I’m also interested in how these mechanisms mature during neural development. Our research methods include electrophysiology, anatomy, optogenetics, mRNA microinjections and computer modelling.
School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews
St Andrews, Scotland