Dr Paloma T Gonzalez-Bellido

Paloma T Gonzalez-Bellido

University position


Dr Paloma T Gonzalez-Bellido is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



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Research Themes

Systems and Computational Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Given a set of environmental conditions and behavioral limitations, what is the optimal neural strategy and performance for a certain visual task? What adaptations are crucial for it? Are such adaptations widely spread across distantly related species that display similar behaviors? Or are they just present in one highly specialized group?

To answer these questions, the laboratory works on visually guided predators. Predation is innate, robust, reproducible and crucial for survival. We focus on how predatory insects code motion information about their prey (target).

We employ high speed videography (in the field and in the laboratory), electrophysiology (intracellular and extracellular) and microscopy (light and electron). In addition, we collaborate with the laboratory of Hanchuan Peng (Allen Institute for Brain Science) in the development of new techniques for tracing neurons.

Research Focus





Neural Code


Clinical conditions

Movement disorders


Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Field potential recording

Fluorescence microscopy


Intracellular recording




Apostolos Georgopoulos Web: http://www.neurosci.umn.edu/faculty...

Rob Olberg Web: http://www.union.edu/academi...

Hanchuan Peng Web: http://home.penglab.com/

Trevor Wardill

Associated News Items



Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Wardill TJ, Buresch KC, Ulmer KM, Hanlon RT (2014), “Expression of squid iridescence depends on environmental luminance and peripheral ganglion control.” J Exp Biol 217(Pt 6):850-8 Details

Peng H, Tang J, Xiao H, Bria A, Zhou J, Butler V, Zhou Z, Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Oh SW, Chen J, Mitra A, Tsien RW, Zeng H, Ascoli GA, Iannello G, Hawrylycz M, Myers E, Long F (2014), “Virtual finger boosts three-dimensional imaging and microsurgery as well as terabyte volume image visualization and analysis.” Nat Commun 5:4342 Details


Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Peng H, Yang J, Georgopoulos AP, Olberg RM (2013), “Eight pairs of descending visual neurons in the dragonfly give wing motor centers accurate population vector of prey direction.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110(2):696-701 Details

Nordström K, Gonzalez-Bellido PT (2013), “Invertebrate vision: peripheral adaptation to repeated object motion.” Curr Biol 23(15):R655-6 Details

Yang J, Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Peng H (2013), “A distance-field based automatic neuron tracing method.” BMC Bioinformatics 14:93 Details


Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Wardill TJ (2012), “Labeling and confocal imaging of neurons in thick invertebrate tissue samples.” Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2012(9):969-83 Details

Wardill TJ, Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Crook RJ, Hanlon RT (2012), “Neural control of tuneable skin iridescence in squid.” Proc Biol Sci 279(1745):4243-52 Details


Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Wardill TJ, Juusola M (2011), “Compound eyes and retinal information processing in miniature dipteran species match their specific ecological demands.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(10):4224-9 Details


Gonzalez-Bellido PT, Wardill TJ, Kostyleva R, Meinertzhagen IA, Juusola M (2009), “Overexpressing temperature-sensitive dynamin decelerates phototransduction and bundles microtubules in Drosophila photoreceptors.” J Neurosci 29(45):14199-210 Details