The goal of our lab is to understand how the nervous system senses the body (proprioception) and uses propioceptive feedback signals to guide adaptive motor control.

sensory neurons (green) in the fly foot(magenta)

The neural control of behavior requires continuous feedback about the position and movement of the body. This feedback is provided by proprioceptive sensory neurons, which detect self-generated mechanical forces. However, despite the critical importance of this fundamental sense in all motile animals, including humans, we currently know very little about how proprioceptive feedback signals are used to guide motor output. To understand the neural computations that occur in sensorimotor circuits, we study the compact nervous system of the genetic model organism, Drosophila melanogaster.

On proprioception and fruit flies from John Tuthill.

Another project in the lab seeks to understand how the neurons of snow flies (Chionea) are adapted to function under conditions of extreme cold. For more info about our work on snow flies and our citizen science project to help collect them in the mountains of Washington, visit