UCL Ear Institute


Olena Riabinina

I am interested in sensory neuroscience and the neuronal basis of behaviour. I am curious about the behavioural strategies that animals use to acquire important information, about the peripheral and central processing of sensory information and circuits that underlie these computations, and about how the processed information (often from different sensory modalities) leads to an adaptive behaviour. 

At the Ear Institute, I use the fruit fly Drosophila to study neuronal and molecular basis of hearing, auditory communication and other auditory behaviours. I am interested in how behaviourally relevant sounds are represented at different stages of the auditory processing, how the frequency and intensity of the sounds are coded in the neuronal responses, and what are the mechanisms that facilitate processing of behaviourally relevant or very quiet sounds.

Current projects:

  • Ear tuning and courtship songs in different Drosophila species
  • Role of the NompC and other mechanotransduction channels in the adaptation of the ear’s responses to sound stimuli
  • Binaural (directional) hearing in flies
  • The role of auditory feedback for courtship song production


Riabinina O, Dai M, Duke T, Albert JT (2011) Active Process Mediates Species-Specific Tuning of Drosophila Ears. Current Biology, 21, 658-664 (doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.03.001)

Riabinina O*, Hempel de Ibarra N*, Howard L, Collett TS (2011) Do wood ants learn sequences of visual stimuli? Journal of Experimental Biology, 214, 2739-2748 (doi: 10.1242/​jeb.058537)

Hempel de Ibarra N, Philippides AO, Riabinina O, Collett TS (2009) Preferred viewing directions of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) when learning and approaching their nest site. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212: 3193-3204 (doi: 10.1242/jeb.029751)

Riabinina O, Philippides AO (2009) A model of visual detection of angular speed for bees. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 257, 61–72. (doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.11.002)

Nefyodov PV, Ryabinina O (2005) Modeling processes of charge transfer in electro-chemical systems with convection. Vidnovlyuvana energetyka (Renewable Energy) 1, 97-102. (in Russian)