Eva Naumann, PhD, PI
Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Contact Information
327F Bryan Research

Naumann Lab

The Naumann Lab is interested in how neural circuits across the entire brain guide behavior and how individuality manifests within these circuits. Our goal is to understand how precisely the neural circuits underlying sensory systems of individuals form, develop, and function. To dissect such circuits, we use the genetically accessible and translucent zebrafish to map, monitor, and manipulate neuronal activity. By combining whole-brain imaging, behavioral monitoring, functional perturbations, neuroanatomy, computational modeling, and machine learning, we aim to generate brain-scale circuit models of simple behaviors in individual brains.

Naumann Research

Optomotor response idiosyncrasy


Neural circuit models that motivate specific connectivity based on average data may lead to over-interpretations in which best-fit models do not represent real neural implementations in individual animals. We are interested in how visually evoked behavioral idiosyncrasies manifest in underlying neural circuit architectures. 


Moving gratings under our custom-built two-photon microscope
Our custom-built light-sheet microscope

Brain-body interactions

Interoceptive signals are increasingly recognized to impact behavior. We aim to dissect the molecular and functional mechanisms of brain-body communication, specifically the gut-brain axis.

Neurod RFP


With longitudinal assays of behavior and neural activity, we plan to build a better understanding of how genotype and environment interact to shape neural circuits and behavior.

Zebrafish figure
Gigapixel imaging with a multi-camera array microscope (MCAM)

Motivational states

Motivational states, such as arousal, sleep, fear, and hunger, affect stimulus sensitivity and influence behavior. We aim to reveal how neuromodulators can flexibly alter activity in well-defined neural circuits to affect behavior and behavioral idiosyncrasy. 

Denoised two-photon recording of zebrafish neurons expressing GCaMP6s
figure layout

Lab Members

Postdoctoral Associate
Naumann Lab
Naumann Lab
Naumann Lab
Naumann Lab
Naumann Lab
Undergraduate Researcher
Undergraduate Researcher
Undergraduate Researcher

Naumann Publications

Loring, Matthew D., Eric E. Thomson, and Eva A. Naumann. “Whole-brain interactions underlying zebrafish behavior.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 65 (December 2020): 88–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2020.09.011.

Harfouche, M., T. W. Dunn, E. A. Naumann, and R. Horstmeyer. “Imaging the behavior and neural activity of freely moving organisms with a gigapixel microscope.” In Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Vol. Part F169-BRAIN 2019, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1364/BRAIN.2019.BT3A.3.

Naumann, Eva A., James E. Fitzgerald, Timothy W. Dunn, Jason Rihel, Haim Sompolinsky, and Florian Engert. “From Whole-Brain Data to Functional Circuit Models: The Zebrafish Optomotor Response.” Cell 167, no. 4 (November 3, 2016): 947-960.e20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.10.019.

Dunn, Timothy W., Yu Mu, Sujatha Narayan, Owen Randlett, Eva A. Naumann, Chao-Tsung Yang, Alexander F. Schier, Jeremy Freeman, Florian Engert, and Misha B. Ahrens. “Brain-wide mapping of neural activity controlling zebrafish exploratory locomotion.” Elife 5 (March 22, 2016): e12741. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12741.

Dunn, Timothy W., Christoph Gebhardt, Eva A. Naumann, Clemens Riegler, Misha B. Ahrens, Florian Engert, and Filippo Del Bene. “Neural Circuits Underlying Visually Evoked Escapes in Larval Zebrafish.” Neuron 89, no. 3 (February 3, 2016): 613–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.021.

Randlett, Owen, Caroline L. Wee, Eva A. Naumann, Onyeka Nnaemeka, David Schoppik, James E. Fitzgerald, Ruben Portugues, et al. “Whole-brain activity mapping onto a zebrafish brain atlas.” Nat Methods 12, no. 11 (November 2015): 1039–46. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.3581.

Naumann, Eva A., Adam R. Kampff, David A. Prober, Alexander F. Schier, and Florian Engert. “Monitoring neural activity with bioluminescence during natural behavior.” Nat Neurosci 13, no. 4 (April 2010): 513–20. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2518.

Naumann, E. A. “Illuminating the neural circuitry underlying larval zebrafish behavior,” n.d.