Schleyer lab


This is the page of the Schleyer lab. We are an international research group at Hokkaido University, investigating learning & memory, decision-making and locomotion.

We try to understand the potentially biggest “Unknown” in our world – the brain. Our brain controls our behaviour and our body, yet despite great efforts we still have only a limited understanding of how it accomplishes its tasks. Our research therefore focusses on the much smaller and simpler brain of an invertebrate animal: the larva of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. With about 10,000 neurons and unparalleled tools to study the genetics and neuronal circuits on single-cell level, it is to date the best candidate study object to gain a comprehensive understanding how a brain works. Therefore, we investigate how larvae learn, remember and use the memory for making decisions.

Animation of a Drosophila larva. Colour-coded is the forward velocity. After 30 s, optogenetic activation of command neurons in the brain make the animal crawling backwards.


We are always happy when students want to join our group. Interested? Just contact us!


Exciting weeks: a new publication, a new grant and new students!

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Our research

We study what you could call "Insect psychology" - what and how does a little insect with a simple brain "think"

For more details, see our projects page.