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.

More like this

Thanks Howard Hughes for helping us get the word out about the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Main Article here Two scientists from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus, Roian Egnor and Lou Scheffer, will speak at the USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo,…
  A still shot from the 3D-IsoView microscope shows neural activity within a Drosophila larva detected with fluorescent indicators. Image courtesy of Keller Lab, HHMI/Janelia Research Campus A new kind of three-dimensional technology, called IsoView, allows researchers to view biological…
No, we are not talking about mating habits here. We are talking about the ability of some animals to use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate and in the case of foxes, to find prey. In a recent article published in New Scientist, foxes have been identified as the first animal believed to use the…
In honor of our most beloved Thanksgiving dinner guest: Despite their rather large stature, ranging from 2.5-10.8 kg, wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) can fly as seen in this video: For more information about turkeys:Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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

By See Noevo (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink