Tessa Montague

Department: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Start Year: 2018
Starting Institution: Harvard University
Current Institution: Harvard University
Project Title: The neural basis of camouflage in cuttlefish. 

A major goal of neuroscience is to understand the neural basis of visual perception. During visual perception, the brain extracts salient features from sensory stimuli, and creates a neural representation of the environment, permitting the generation of appropriate behaviors. The cuttlefish provides a unique system in which to study visual perception. Cuttlefish camouflage to the environment, and thus require a transformation of the neural representation into an accurate recreation of the environment using skin pigmentation and texture. I plan to use cuttlefish to uncover the neural circuits underlying visual perception by recording neural activity while monitoring camouflage behavior. As a Grass Fellow I will establish the foundations of this project by developing behavioral assays and molecular tools.