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The ultimate goal of our research is to understand how normal ecological relevant behavior turns into maladapted and uncontrollable behavior - a hallmark of drug and behavioral addictions. To answer these questions we use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as genetic model system.

By using genetics and molecular genetic tools, we change genes and their function. We analyze the consequences of these changes on behavior. We focus the behavioral analysis currently on food and ethanol consumption, decision making and learning and memory. On the cellular level we investigate how cellular stress that is caused by alcohol changes neuronal function and in turn behavior.

Taken together we use a multi-level approach combining molecular genetics, neuro-anatomical, cellular and biochemical approaches with behavioral analysis to understand neuronal adaptations underlying changes of behavior.