Ever wonder how flies navigate?

Dr. Vivek Jayaraman and colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus discovered that the ellipsoid body located in the middle of a fly’s brain acts like a compass to help navigate flight even in darkness. By placing the flies into a small virtual reality arena and having the flies walk on a rotating ball, they could study the activity of neurons within the ellipsoid body while the animal was moving.

These videos show how the fly experiment was done:

Check out the news release for more information about this neat study.


  1. #1 See Noevo
    May 21, 2015

    And how did the flies get their navigation system?
    The same way the “birds got their beaks”.
    See article nearby.