Sci. STKE, 3 July 2007
Neuroscience Decision-Making in the Fly
Peter R. Stern
Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK
Even the humble fruit fly has choices to make and uses a rudimentary brainlike organ known as the mushroom body in the process. Zhang et al. studied choice in Drosophila while the animals were confronted with competing visual cues. Decision-making was based on two processes, one linear and the other nonlinear. The switch from linear to nonlinear decision-making involved dopamine function in the mushroom body. Without the integrity of dopamine-mushroom body circuits, flies could make simple perceptual decisions based on the subtraction of the saliency of the conflict cues (color versus position) but lost the ability to amplify the discrepancy at some crucial points.
Citation: P. R. Stern, Decision-Making in the Fly. Sci. STKE 2007, tw234 (2007).
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882