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Learn Mem. 2014 Dec 15;22(1):56-63. doi: 10.1101/lm.036863.114. Print 2014 Jan.

A conditioned visual orientation requires the ellipsoid body in Drosophila.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China liuli@sun5.ibp.ac.cn ezfgong@gmail.com.

Abstract

Orientation, the spatial organization of animal behavior, is an essential faculty of animals. Bacteria and lower animals such as insects exhibit taxis, innate orientation behavior, directly toward or away from a directional cue. Organisms can also orient themselves at a specific angle relative to the cues. In this study, using Drosophila as a model system, we established a visual orientation conditioning paradigm based on a flight simulator in which a stationary flying fly could control the rotation of a visual object. By coupling aversive heat shocks to a fly's orientation toward one side of the visual object, we found that the fly could be conditioned to orientate toward the left or right side of the frontal visual object and retain this conditioned visual orientation. The lower and upper visual fields have different roles in conditioned visual orientation. Transfer experiments showed that conditioned visual orientation could generalize between visual targets of different sizes, compactness, or vertical positions, but not of contour orientation. Rut-Type I adenylyl cyclase and Dnc-phosphodiesterase were dispensable for visual orientation conditioning. Normal activity and scb signaling in R3/R4d neurons of the ellipsoid body were required for visual orientation conditioning. Our studies established a visual orientation conditioning paradigm and examined the behavioral properties and neural circuitry of visual orientation, an important component of the insect's spatial navigation.

PMID:
25512578
PMCID:
PMC4274327
DOI:
10.1101/lm.036863.114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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