Farrow Lab

From the eye to behaviour

Kf Karl Farrow Vib

Karl Farrow, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biology, KU Leuven, Belgium

Contact & Bio

Dissecting the lines of communication
connecting the eye with behaviour

Many of the computations performed by the nervous system can be interpreted as answers to particular challenges posed by the live histories of an animal. However, it remains unknown how neural circuits are organized to carry out the computations that link specific sensory inputs with the activation of the appropriate behaviour.

To address these questions, we work with mice and Peromyscus to dissect the neural circuits that link the earliest stages of visual processing in the retina with the initiation of suitable behaviours. We combine trans‐synaptic viral tracing techniques with large scale brain recordings and optogenetic approaches to unravel the connectivity between targeted cell types, brain regions and behaviour.

The labs scientific questions

The primary purpose of our work is to determine the details of how information is disseminated and organized in the brain to enable the necessary computations that link sensory stimuli with the triggering of suitable behaviours. This is done to uncover fundamental principals of how the brain is organized, how defects in circuitry leads to brain dysfunction, and determine what aspects of this circuitry is conserved across evolution.


Meet the members of the Farrow lab


Key publications

Daniel De Malmazet, Norma Kühn, Karl Farrow, Retinotopic Separation of Nasal and Temporal Motion Selectivity in the Mouse Superior Colliculus, Current Biology, 28(18), 2961-2969, 2018
Heather C. Rice, Daniel De Malmazet, An Schreurs, Samuel Frere, Inge Van Molle, Alexander N. Volkov, Eline Creemers, Irena Vertkin, Julie Nys, Fanomezana M. Ranaivoson, Davide Comoletti, Jeffrey N. Savas, Han Remaut, Detlef Balschun, Keimpe D. Wierda, Inna Slutsky, Karl Farrow, Bart De Strooper, Joris de Wit, Secreted amyloid-β precursor protein functions as a GABABR1a ligand to modulate synaptic transmission, Science, Vol. 363, Issue 6423, eaao4827, 2019
Keisuke Yonehara, Karl Farrow, Ghanem Alexander, Daniel Hillier, Kamill Balint, Miguel Teixeira, Josephine Jüttner, Masaharu Noda, Rachael L Neve, Karl-Klaus Conzelmann, Botond Roska, The first stage of cardinal direction selectivity is localized to the dendrites of retinal ganglion cells, Neuron, 79(6), 1078-1085, 2013
Karl Farrow, Miguel Teixeira, Tamas Szikra, Tim J Viney, Kamill Balint, Keisuke Yonehara, Botond Roska, Ambient illumination toggles a neuronal circuit switch in the retina and visual perception at cone threshold., Neuron, 78(2): 325-338, 2013
Karl Farrow, Richard H Masland, Physiological clustering of visual channels in the mouse retina, Journal of Neurophysiology, 105(4):1516-30, 2011