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Neural Circuitry of "Emotional" Behaviors in Drosophila

Drosophila has recently emerged as a powerful model system for studying the functional architecture of neural circuits that control innate behaviors, in addition to its more traditional value as a system for understanding the function of genes. An elucidation of neural circuits is an essential prerequisite to understanding how genes influence behavior, since genes exert their action on the development and function of circuits. In addition to our work on Drosophila aggression (see Neural Circuitry of Aggression), we have established several novel, quantitative assays for innate behaviors in Drosophila, and are using genetic tools and functional imaging to map the underlying neural circuits. A central focus is to develop behavioral assays for internal "states" that may be evolutionary antecedents to emotional states in vertebrates. These states include stress-induced arousal, and "hunger," which is sometimes considered a "homeostatic" emotion.


William Gibson, postdoctoral fellow

Recent Publications

Anderson, D.J. and Adolphs, R. (2014) A framework for studying emotions across phylogeny. Cell, in press

Vrontou, S., Wong, A.M., Rau, K., Koerber, H.R., and Anderson, D.J. (2013) Genetic identification of C-fibers that detect massage-like stroking of hairy skin in vivo. Nature 493:669-673

Inagaki, H. K., Jung, Y., Hoopfer, E. D., Wong, A. M., Mishra, N., Lin, J. Y., et al. (2013). Optogenetic control of Drosophila using a red-shifted channelrhodopsin reveals experience-dependent influences on courtship. Nature Methods 

Inagaki, H. K., de-Leon, S. B.-T., Wong, A. M., Jagadish, S., Ishimoto, H., Barnea, G., et al. (2012). Visualizing Neuromodulation In Vivo: TANGO-Mapping of Dopamine Signaling Reveals Appetite Control of Sugar Sensing. Cell, 148(3), 583–595

Hergarden, A.C., Tayler, T.D., and Anderson, D.J. (2012) Allatostain-A neurons inhibit feeding behaviour in adult Drosophila. PNAS 109:2967-2972

Tayler, T.D., Pacheco, D.A., Hergarden, A.C., Murthy, M., and Anderson, D.J. (2012) A neuropeptide circuit that coordinates sperm transfer and copulation duration in Drosophila. PNAS 109:20697–20702

Lebestky, T., Chang, J.S., Dankert, H., Zelnik, L., Kim, Y.C., Han, K.A., Wolf, F.W., Perona, P., and Anderson, D.J. (2009). Two different forms of arousal in Drosophila are oppositely regulated by the dopamine D1 receptor ortholog DopR via distinct neural circuits. Neuron 64, 522-536. [PubMed]

Yorozu, S., Wong, A., Fischer, B.J., Dankert, H., Kernan, M.J., Kamikouchi, A., Ito, K., and Anderson, D.J. (2009). Distinct sensory representations of wind and near-field sound in the Drosophila brain. Nature 458, 201-205. [PubMed]

Suh, G.S., Ben-Tabou de Leon, S., Tanimoto, H., Fiala, A., Benzer, S., and Anderson, D.J. (2007). Light activation of an innate olfactory avoidance response in Drosophila. Current Biology 17, 905-908. [PubMed]

Carvalho, G.B., Kapahi, P., Anderson, D.J., and Benzer, S. (2006). Allocrine modulation of feeding behavior by the Sex Peptide of Drosophila. Curr Biol 16, 692-696. [PubMed]

Suh, G. S., Wong, A. M., Hergarden, A. C., Wang, J. W., Simon, A. F., Benzer, S., Axel, R. and Anderson, D. J. (2004). A single population of olfactory sensory neurons mediates an innate avoidance behaviour in Drosophila. Nature 431, 854-9. [PubMed] [F1000 factor 4.8] [see commentary]