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      The Panopticon—Assessing the Effect of Starvation on Prolonged Fly Activity and Place Preference


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          Animal behaviours are demonstrably governed by sensory stimulation, previous experience and internal states like hunger. With increasing hunger, priorities shift towards foraging and feeding. During foraging, flies are known to employ efficient path integration strategies. However, general long-term activity patterns for both hungry and satiated flies in conditions of foraging remain to be better understood. Similarly, little is known about how permanent contact chemosensory stimulation affects locomotion. To address these questions, we have developed a novel, simplistic fly activity tracking setup—the Panopticon. Using a 3D-printed Petri dish inset, our assay allows recording of walking behaviour, of several flies in parallel, with all arena surfaces covered by a uniform substrate layer. We tested two constellations of providing food: (i) in single patches and (ii) omnipresent within the substrate layer. Fly tracking is done with FIJI, further assessment, analysis and presentation is done with a custom-built MATLAB analysis framework. We find that starvation history leads to a long-lasting reduction in locomotion, as well as a delayed place preference for food patches which seems to be not driven by immediate hunger motivation.

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          Most cited references 129

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          Visual Place Learning in Drosophila melanogaster

          The ability of insects to learn and navigate to specific locations in the environment has fascinated naturalists for decades. While the impressive navigation abilities of ants, bees, wasps, and other insects clearly demonstrate that insects are capable of visual place learning 1–4 , little is known about the underlying neural circuits that mediate these behaviors. Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for dissecting the neural circuitry underlying complex behaviors, from sensory perception to learning and memory. Flies can identify and remember visual features such as size, color, and contour orientation 5, 6 . However, the extent to which they use vision to recall specific locations remains unclear. Here we describe a visual place-learning platform and demonstrate that Drosophila are capable of forming and retaining visual place memories to guide selective navigation. By targeted genetic silencing of small subsets of cells in the Drosophila brain we show that neurons in the ellipsoid body, but not in the mushroom bodies, are necessary for visual place learning. Together, these studies reveal distinct neuroanatomical substrates for spatial versus non-spatial learning, and substantiate Drosophila as a powerful model for the study of spatial memories.
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            Distinct memory traces for two visual features in the Drosophila brain.

            The fly Drosophila melanogaster can discriminate and remember visual landmarks. It analyses selected parts of its visual environment according to a small number of pattern parameters such as size, colour or contour orientation, and stores particular parameter values. Like humans, flies recognize patterns independently of the retinal position during acquisition of the pattern (translation invariance). Here we show that the central-most part of the fly brain, the fan-shaped body, contains parts of a network mediating visual pattern recognition. We have identified short-term memory traces of two pattern parameters--elevation in the panorama and contour orientation. These can be localized to two groups of neurons extending branches as parallel, horizontal strata in the fan-shaped body. The central location of this memory store is well suited to mediate translational invariance.
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              Sex peptide receptor and neuronal TOR/S6K signaling modulate nutrient balancing in Drosophila.

              Animals often decide between alternative actions according to their current needs, and hence the value they assign to each of the competing options. This process is of special relevance during nutrient balancing, in which animals choose between different food sources according to their current nutritional state. How such value-based decision making is implemented at the molecular and neuronal level in the brain is not well understood. Here we describe Drosophila melanogaster food choice as a genetically tractable model to study value-based decision making in the context of nutrient balancing. When faced with a choice between yeast and an alternative food source, flies deprived of protein prefer the yeast. We show here that mating status is a critical modulator of this decision-making process in females and that it relies on the action of the sex peptide receptor in internal ppk(+) sensory neurons. Neuronal TOR/S6K function is another critical input to this decision, possibly signaling the fly's current nutritional status. We propose that the brain uses these internal states to assign value to external sensory information from potential food sources, thereby guiding food choice and ensuring nutrient homeostasis. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Front Behav Neurosci
                Front Behav Neurosci
                Front. Behav. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                25 March 2021
                : 15
                Department of Genetics, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Leipzig , Leipzig, Germany
                Author notes

                Edited by: Bart R. H. Geurten, University of Göttingen, Germany

                Reviewed by: Merid Negash Getahun, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya; Christian Wegener, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Germany

                *Correspondence: Wolf Huetteroth, w.huetteroth@ 123456uni-leipzig.de

                These authors have contributed equally to this work

                This article was submitted to Individual and Social Behaviors, a section of the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

                Copyright © 2021 Mahishi, Triphan, Hesse and Huetteroth.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 130, Pages: 14, Words: 0
                Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 10.13039/501100001659
                Original Research


                drosophila, feeding, foraging, place preference, tracking


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