An “atlas” of the fruit-fly brain is the largest yet to map regions that encode specific behaviours, such as walking backwards.
Carey Priebe of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Marta Zlatic of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, and their colleagues engineered fruit-fly larvae so that the insects' neurons fired when hit with a beam of light. The researchers stimulated more than 1,000 different neuronal pathways in nearly 38,000 Drosophila flies, and recorded how the flies responded.
They were able to determine 29 different behaviours, such as turning to avoid an obstacle, and mapped which neurons seemed to control each behaviour.
Science http://doi.org/r4t (2014)