„Development of hemispheric specialization and communication – a model of ontogenetic plasticity “
It is the aim of this research project to understand how two (specialized) brain hemispheres communicate to enable adaptive decisions and behavioural control and how gene-environment interactions during ontogeny shape the underlying intra- and interhemispheric processes. We use the asymmetrically organized visual system of pigeons as a model to investigate the impact of the environmental factor light by comparing lateralization pattern of pigeons with and without embryonic light experience. Tasks investigating response selection in conflict situations (metacontrol) enable us to probe the relevance of intra- and interhemispheric processes. The underlying neuronal mechanisms will be investigated by by optogenetic manipulation of critical forebrain areas.