from Zebrafish Neurodynamics to Human IQ
HOME of the Neurobiology of Aging Project 

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Symbolic Neuronal Operations [SNOPS] are at the core of hominid language evolution and animal intelligence!


Zebrafish Systems Neurobiology:

The Future of Neurodynamics Research

Absent efforts to Individually Identify CNS neurons, the dynamical analysis of neural computations is Fraught with Illusion

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REST OF SITE: Neural Systems Erotica and Symbolic Neuronal Operations

You can Contact Don O'Malley at or at 617-373-2284.  He teaches Biological Imaging, Computational Neuroscience, Neurobiology and other courses for the Department of Biology at NU in Boston.   An older version of our web page with some classic zebrafish videos is available at

Graduate Students in the lab (past and present) account for most of the advances we have made on understanding the behaviors and descending motor control of the larval zebrafish.  Current projects concern the neural control of swimming, the evolution of predatory behaviors and axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury.  Ethan Gahtan, Missy Borla McElligott, Earl Larson, Naga Sankrithi and Seth Budick are past lab members who played a major role in establishing this laboratory at NU.

Other Interests include Computational Neurodynamics, Human Flash Memory (Daily Memory Records) and the Evolution of Artificial and Biological Intelligence (see for more on this latter topic).


Zebrafish Routine Turn

Click here to see an AVI Movie of this basic motor pattern used by zebrafish for Navigation, OMR behaviors and, at later larval stages, prey tracking and capture [If movie does not play, try right-clicking to save AVI movie].  Several uses of Routine Turns are documented in unpublished work of Leslie Day and Rebecca Bonaiuto and see Burgess and Granato (2007).  This and other elements of the zebrafish's Locomotor Repertoire were first described by Budick and O'Malley 2000 (JEB).


Dynamical Systems

This is a greatly simplified model of zebrafish spinal cord and does not incorporate the slow and fast CPGs proposed by Budick and O'Malley (2000).  But it does provide a tool for assessing spinal responses to descending motor commands and the generation of the very high tail-beat frequencies that we discovered in larval zebrafish.  A Neurokinematic Model was published in 2005 and a model based on Identified Spinal Interneurons (of Bernhardt et al. 1990) was published in 2006.