An automated paradigm for drosophila visual psychophysics

Evans, Oliver, Paulk, Angelique C. and van Swinderen, Bruno (2011) An automated paradigm for drosophila visual psychophysics. PLOS ONE, 6 6: Article number e21619. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021619

Author Evans, Oliver
Paulk, Angelique C.
van Swinderen, Bruno
Title An automated paradigm for drosophila visual psychophysics
Journal name PLOS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-06-29
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0021619
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 6
Start page Article number e21619
Total pages 11
Place of publication United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Mutations that cause learning and memory defects in Drosophila melanogaster have been found to also compromise visual responsiveness and attention. A better understanding of attention-like defects in such Drosophila mutants therefore requires a more detailed characterization of visual responsiveness across a range of visual parameters.

Methodology/Principal Findings:
We designed an automated behavioral paradigm for efficiently dissecting visual responsiveness in Drosophila. Populations of flies walk through multiplexed serial choice mazes while being exposed to moving visuals displayed on computer monitors, and infra-red fly counters at the end of each maze automatically score the responsiveness of a strain. To test our new design, we performed a detailed comparison between wild-type flies and a learning and memory mutant, dunce1. We first confirmed that the learning mutant dunce1 displays increased responsiveness to a black/green moving grating compared to wild type in this new design. We then extended this result to explore responses to a wide range of psychophysical parameters for moving gratings (e.g., luminosity, contrast, spatial frequency, velocity) as well as to a different stimulus, moving dots. Finally, we combined these visuals (gratings versus dots) in competition to investigate how dunce1 and wild-type flies respond to more complex and conflicting motion effects.

We found that dunce1 responds more strongly than wild type to high contrast and highly structured motion. This effect was found for simple gratings, dots, and combinations of both stimuli presented in competition.
Keyword Optokinetic nystagmus
Motion perception
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2012 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 21 Oct 2011, 14:54:39 EST by Bruno Van Swinderen on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute