The optomotor maze: a population assay for visual perception in Drosophila.


Vision is a major sensory modality in Drosophila behavior, with more than one-half of the Drosophila brain devoted to visual processing. The mechanisms of vision in Drosophila can now be studied in individuals and in populations of flies by using various paradigms. The optomotor maze, described here, is a novel and efficient approach for querying visual perception in Drosophila populations. The optomotor maze setup is very simple: An eight-choice maze consisting of 3-mm paths grooved into a transparent Plexiglas or acrylic slab is placed over an upturned cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor on which visuals are displayed. The placement or movement of the visuals on the CRT, which the flies can see through the flat bottom of the maze, influences their turning behavior at each choice point. This paradigm can be adapted for visual learning by simply rerunning flies in the maze (habituation) or as a more sophisticated version of the aversive phototaxic suppression (APS) paradigm.

DOI: 10.1101/pdb.prot066530

Cite this paper

@article{Swinderen2011TheOM, title={The optomotor maze: a population assay for visual perception in Drosophila.}, author={Bruno van Swinderen}, journal={Cold Spring Harbor protocols}, year={2011}, volume={2011 11}, pages={1337-9} }