BACKGROUND Courtship behavior in Drosophila has been causally linked to the activity of the heterogeneous set of ∼1500 neurons that express the sex-specific transcripts of the fruitless (fru) gene, but we currently lack an appreciation of the cellular diversity within this population, the extent to which these cells are sexually dimorphic, and how they… (More)
The courtship song of the Drosophila male serves as a genetically tractable model for the investigation of the neural mechanisms of decision-making, action selection, and motor pattern generation. Singing has been causally linked to the activity of the set of neurons that express the sex-specific fru transcripts, but the specific neurons involved have not… (More)
BACKGROUND Sex-specific behavior may originate from differences in brain structure or function. In Drosophila, the action of the male-specific isoform of fruitless in about 2000 neurons appears to be necessary and sufficient for many aspects of male courtship behavior. Initial work found limited evidence for anatomical dimorphism in these fru+ neurons.… (More)
Learning through trial-and-error interactions allows animals to adapt innate behavioural ‘rules of thumb’ to the local environment, improving their prospects for survival and reproduction. Naive Drosophila melanogaster males, for example, court both virgin and mated females, but learn through experience to selectively suppress futile courtship towards… (More)
Neurobiology investigates how anatomical and physiological relationships in the nervous system mediate behavior. Molecular genetic techniques, applied to species such as the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, have proven to be an important tool in this research. Large databases of transgenic specimens are being built and need to be analyzed to… (More)
When making a decision it is often necessary to consider the available alternatives in order to choose the most appropriate option. This deliberative process, where the pros and cons of each option are considered, relies on memories of past actions and outcomes. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are required for memory encoding, memory retrieval and… (More)
Why do males and females behave so differently? Sexually dimorphic neural circuitry has just been found in parts of the fly's brain thought to control mating behaviour. Might this explain why males and females have such distinct sexual behaviours?
Figure 1: Our tool visualizes overlaps of arborizations inside the brain of Drosophila melanogaster. Abstract Neuroscientists investigate neural circuits in the brain of the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to discover how complex behavior is generated. Hypothesis building on potential connections between individual neurons is an essential step in… (More)