An important long-range goal is to understand how the circuits and signals of the brain implement its overall function in animal behavior. Concretely we are working on innate behaviors of the mouse that are driven by the visual system. A robust and striking example are the defensive reactions elicited by looming visual stimuli [1-2]. The superior colliculus - an evolutionarily ancient visual pathway – plays an important part in controlling such behaviors [3-5]. Along the 1 mm depth of the superior colliculus one can already observe a transformation from purely sensory to largely motor signals. We want to understand better what happens here, and how the many parallel channels of the retina are deployed for downstream visual functions. Eventually, the goal is to both observe and explain brain function during natural behavior in the wild .
 Yilmaz, M, Meister, M (2013) Rapid innate defensive responses of mice to looming visual stimuli. Curr Biol 23:2011–2015. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.015.
 Kunwar, PS, Zelikowsky, M, Remedios, R, Cai, H, Yilmaz, M, Meister, M, Anderson, DJ (2015) Ventromedial hypothalamic neurons control a defensive emotion state. eLife 4:e06633. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06633.
 Feinberg, EH, Meister, M (2015) Orientation columns in the mouse superior colliculus. Nature 519:229–232. doi:10.1038/nature14103.
 Lee, K.H., Tran, A., Turan, Z., and Meister, M. (2020). The sifting of visual information in the superior colliculus. ELife 9, e50678.
 Li, Y., Turan, Z., and Meister, M. (2020). Functional Architecture of Motion Direction in the Mouse Superior Colliculus. Current Biology 30, 3304-3315.e4.
 Szuts, TA, Fadeyev, V, Kachiguine, S, Sher, A, Grivich, MV, Agrochao, M, Hottowy, P, Dabrowski, W, Lubenov, EV, Siapas, AG, Uchida, N, Litke, AM, Meister, M (2011) A wireless multi-channel neural amplifier for freely moving animals. Nat Neurosci 14:263–269. doi:10.1038/nn.2730.