Behavioural methods

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Scintillators emit visible luminescence when irradiated with X-rays and may enable remote optogenetic control of neurons deep in the brain. The authors inject an inorganic scintillator to activate and inhibit midbrain dopamine neurons in freely moving mice by X-ray irradiation to modulate place preference behavior.

    • Takanori Matsubara
    • , Takayuki Yanagida
    •  & Takayuki Yamashita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the fly Drosophila melanogaster commensal bacteria and dietary essential amino acids control food choice behavior. Here, by using chemically defined diets and metabolomics, the authors show that Acetobacter pomorum (Ap) and Lactobacilli plantarum (Lp) engage in a mutualistic metabolic relationship to overcome detrimental diets, and identify Ap as the bacterium altering the host’s feeding decisions.

    • Sílvia F. Henriques
    • , Darshan B. Dhakan
    •  & Carlos Ribeiro
  • Article
    | Open Access

    C. elegans sleep can be used to model neural state transitions. Here the authors show that adult C. elegans show quiescent sleep-like behavior when in a microfluidic chamber, and that this is regulated by temperature, mechanosensation and satiety.

    • Daniel L. Gonzales
    • , Jasmine Zhou
    •  & Jacob T. Robinson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether marmosets can exhibit complex motor tasks in controlled experimental designs has not yet been demonstrated. Here, the authors show that marmoset monkeys can be trained to call on command in controlled operant conditioning tasks.

    • Thomas Pomberger
    • , Cristina Risueno-Segovia
    •  & Steffen R. Hage
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Odor-guided spatial behaviours are difficult to study due to the challenge of controlling chemical concentrations in space and time. Here the authors present a precise odor delivery system to generate a olfactory virtual landscape that engages hippocampal place cells in mice.

    • Brad A. Radvansky
    •  & Daniel A. Dombeck
  • Article |

    Quantification of the behavioural phenotype of animals within a group requires simultaneous position and identity tracking of multiple individuals. Here the authors report an automated tracking system that combines video- and RFID-tracking data and allows behavioural phenotyping of uniquely identified group-living animals.

    • Aharon Weissbrod
    • , Alexander Shapiro
    •  & Tali Kimchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Detailed analysis of an animal’s posture and gait can provide a rich resource for behavioural studies. Kain et al. apply the technology of real-time motion capture to Drosophila, allowing automatic classification of the behaviours of flies spontaneously roaming on a tracker ball.

    • Jamey Kain
    • , Chris Stokes
    •  & Benjamin de Bivort