Also I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend and what not. Though I assume ‘a neuroscientist working at the University of Oxford’ is a good starter for a blog about brains. I am stating myother roles because this blog will not only cover science, but my everyday life and impressions.
But for now back to the science part. I am a PhD student, supervised by Dr Stephen Goodwin and Dr Mason Porter. The former is a geneticist, the latter a mathematician. Both are as different as one can be and I am very happy with my choice of supervisors.
I am interested in learning, mechanisms and patterns. At the moment I am working on fruit fly courtship song (this links to a recording of fly courtship from the University of Leicester). Fly courtship song is field were all my interests meet. But before I go on on that: yes, flies sing love songs. Males engage in elaborate courtship rituals to hit on females. What I am doing is to search for an underlying mechanism of courtship song, which generates an acoustic pattern over time. For that I am using methods from both maths and genetics.
I believe that essential mechanisms of learning are similar across species. Connections in the brain are strengthened and weakened by similar mechanisms in both flies and humans. I chose the fly as a model because I find humans too complex to study and more important: I do not believe meaningful studies of mechanisms are possible in humans.