David L. McLean Associate Professor of Neurobiology

Research Interests

Development and Plasticity of Motor Networks

Repetitive movements, like walking or breathing, are generated by networks of rhythmically active neurons. We are interested in how rhythmic networks develop and produce movements of different speeds and intensities. To do this, we study the spinal networks controlling innate motor behaviors in developing zebrafish. Zebrafish provide a unique opportunity to combine imaging, electrophysiological and molecular approaches to examine the neural control of behavior in the living organism. By revealing common principles of organization, we hope to provide insights into disorders that affect our capacity to move, like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy or spinal injury.

Selected Publications

Neuromodulation: Letting Sources of Spinal Dopamine Speak for Themselves. Kishore S and McLean DL. Current Biology. 2015 February 16;25(4):R146-R148.

Systematic Shifts in the Balance of Excitation and Inhibition Coordinate the Activity of Axial Motor Pools at Different Speeds of Locomotion. Kishore S, Bagnall MW, and McLean DL. Journal of Neuroscience. 2014 October 15;34(42):14046-14054.

Selective Responses to Tonic Descending Commands by Temporal Summation in a Spinal Motor Pool. Wang W-C and McLeanDL. Neuron. 2014 August 6;83(3):708-721.

Differences in the morphology of spinal V2a neurons reflect their recruitment order during swimming in larval zebrafish. Menelaou E, VanDunk C, and McLean DL. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2014 April 15;522(6):1232-1248.

Modular Organization of Axial Microcircuits in Zebrafish. Bagnall MW and McLean DL. Science. 2014 January 10;343(6167):197-200.

Speed Control: Spinal Interneurons with Crossed Purposes. Menelaou E and McLean DL. Current Biology. 2013 September 9;23(17):R716-R718.

Visually guided gradation of prey capture movements in larval zebrafish. Patterson BW, Abraham AO, MacIver MA, and McLeanDL. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2013 August 15;216(16):3071-3083.

Optogenetics: Illuminating Sources of Locomotor DriveMcLean DL. Current Biology. 2013 May 20;23(10):R441-R443.

Motor Control: Spinal Circuits Help Tadpoles See Clearly. Bagnall MW and McLean DL. Current Biology. 2012 September 25;22(18):R796-R797.

A Gradient in Endogenous Rhythmicity and Oscillatory Drive Matches Recruitment Order in an Axial Motor Pool. Menelaou E and McLean DL. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012 August 8;32(32):10925-10939.

Movement, technology and discovery in the zebrafishMcLean DL and Fetcho JR. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2011 February;21(1):110-115.

Spinal Interneurons Differentiate Sequentially from Those Driving the Fastest Swimming Movements in Larval Zebrafish to Those Driving the Slowest OnesMcLean DL and Fetcho JR. Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 October 28;29(43):13566-13577.

Continuous shifts in the active set of spinal interneurons during changes in locomotor speedMcLean DL, Masino MA, Koh IYY, Lindquist WB, and Fetcho JR. Nature Neuroscience. 2008 December;11(12):1419-1429.

A topographic map of recruitment in spinal cordMcLean DL, Fan J, Higashijima S-I, Hale ME, and Fetcho JR. Nature. 2007 March 1;446(7131):71-75.

View all publications by David L. McLean listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).