A simple assay to measure the sedating effects of ethanol on Drosophila flies, based on the loss of righting reflex, is described.
To understand a link between the immune response and behavior, we describe a method to measure locomotor behavior in Drosophila during bacterial infection as well as the ability of flies to mount an immune response by monitoring survival, bacterial load, and real-time activity of a key regulator of innate immunity, NFκB.
Genetically encoded optogenetic tools enable noninvasive manipulation of specific neurons in the Drosophila brain. Such tools can identify neurons whose activation is sufficient to elicit or suppress particular behaviors. Here we present a method for activating Channelrhodopsin2 that is expressed in targeted neurons in freely walking flies.
The study of complex locomotor behavior in Drosophila melanogaster is dependent upon the ability to quantify changes in a given fly's movement. This article demonstrates how to do this using a high-resolution tracking system.
Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
Simultaneous Recording of Calcium Signals from Identified Neurons and Feeding Behavior of Drosophila melanogaster
The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, extends its proboscis for feeding, responding to a sugar stimulus from its proboscis or tarsus. I have combined observations of the proboscis extension response (PER) with a calcium imaging technique, allowing us to monitor the activity of neurons in the brain, simultaneously with behavioral observation.
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2Scholars Academy/MARC Scholar, University of Houston-Downtown, 3Genes and Development Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 4Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation of thermal nociceptors1,2 while the second involves a wholesale (global) activation of most or all such neurons3. Together, these techniques allow visualization and quantification of the behavioral functions of Drosophila nociceptive sensory neurons.
We describe the first endurance training protocol for an important genetic model species, Drosophila melanogaster, and outline several assays to chart improvements in mobility following training.
Fopius arisanus is an egg-larval parasitoid of Tephritid fruit flies that is successfully used in biological control of these important tropical pests. We describe here an optimized protocol for rearing F. arisanus on a small scale using readily available materials.
1Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Rutgers University, 2Current Address: Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, 3Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University
We describe procedures for recording daily locomotor activity rhythms of Drosophila and subsequent data analysis. Locomotor activity rhythms are a reliable behavioral output of animal circadian clocks and are used as the standard readout of clock function when studying circadian mutants or examining how the environment regulates the circadian system.
A vertical, T-maze olfactometer is described for assaying the behavioral response of arthropods. The olfactometer allows the experimenter to measure choices performed by test subjects when subjected to two potential odor fields. Both attraction to and repulsion from odorants can be measured with this device.
Proboscis extension response or PER is a taste behavior assay that has been used in flies as well as in honeybees. When the proboscis makes contact with an attractive substance, the fly extends its proboscis to consume the substance. Solutions of various sugars are very attractive to the fly.
Drosophila larvae are able to associate odor stimuli with gustatory reward. Here we describe a simple behavioral paradigm that allows the analysis of appetitive associative olfactory learning.
Here we describe how to tether a fly in an olfactory magnetic-tether (OMT) apparatus. We describe how to align the rare-earth magnets and odor ports, and how to set mass flow rates for both the stimulus delivery and vacuum suction to achieve optimal odor tracking.
Drosophila melanogaster is a genetically and behaviorally tractable model system that has been used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of many important biological processes for over a century 1. Drosophila has been well exploited to gain insights into the genetic basis of fly behavior.
In this video article, we describe a new method allowing the construction of odorant gradients with stable and controllable geometries. We briefly illustrate how these gradients can be used to screen for olfactory defects (full and partial anosmia) and to study more subtle features of chemotaxis behavior.
Here we describe how to optimize the acquired video image for an olfactory magnetic-tether (OMT) apparatus. We also describe two sample experimental protocols for studying visuo-olfactory fusion.
Measuring the yaw torque of tethered Drosophila with the torque meter allows the neuroscientist exquisite control of the stimulus situation of the experimental animal. Together with the unique genetic tools available in the fruit fly, this paradigm is used for a wide variety of neurobiological research.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
This procedure uses a blue light-activated algal channel and cell-specific genetic expression tools to evoke synaptic potentials with light pulses at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in Drosophila larvae. This technique is an inexpensive and easy-to-use alternative to suction electrode stimulation for synaptic physiology studies in research and teaching laboratories.
Optogenetic techniques have made it possible to study the contribution of specific neurons to behavior. We describe a method in larval zebrafish for activating single somatosensory neurons expressing a channelrhodopsin variant (ChEF) with a diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) laser and recording the elicited behaviors with a high-speed video camera.
A Fully Automated and Highly Versatile System for Testing Multi-cognitive Functions and Recording Neuronal Activities in Rodents
In this report, we present a fully automated and highly versatile system capable of simultaneously testing multi-cognitive behaviors and recording neuronal activities for rodents.
Using high frequency electrical stimulation, seizure-like activity can be induced in Drosophila. This activity is easily recorded from the giant fiber system.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
Recording Human Electrocorticographic (ECoG) Signals for Neuroscientific Research and Real-time Functional Cortical Mapping
1Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, 2Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College, 4Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University, 5Department of Biomed. Eng., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 6Department of Biomed. Sci., State University of New York at Albany, 7Department of Elec. and Comp. Eng., University of Texas at El Paso
We present a method for collecting electrocorticographic signals for research purposes from humans who are undergoing invasive epilepsy monitoring. We show how to use the BCI2000 software platform for data collection, signal processing and stimulus presentation. Specifically, we demonstrate SIGFRIED, a BCI2000-based tool for real-time functional brain mapping.
We describe a Flippase-induced intersectional Gal80/Gal4 repression (FINGR) method, allowing tissue-specific FLP to determine Gal80 expression patterns. Wherever Gal4 and FLP overlap, Gal4 expression is turned on (Gal80 flipped out) or off (Gal80 flipped in). The FINGR method is versatile for clonal analysis and neural circuit mapping.
Examining the Characteristics of Episodic Memory using Event-related Potentials in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease
The methodology for collecting high-density event-related potential data while patients with Alzheimer's disease perform a recognition memory task is reviewed. This protocol will include subject preparation, quality assurance, data acquisition, and data analysis.
Insulin Injection and Hemolymph Extraction to Measure Insulin Sensitivity in Adult Drosophila melanogaster
Conserved insulin signaling pathways found in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster make this organism a potential tool for modeling metabolic disorders including type II diabetes. To this end, it is critical to establish physiological assays to effectively measure systemic insulin action in peripheral glucose disposal in the adult fly.
The Giant Fiber System is a simple neuronal circuit of adult Drosophila melanogaster containing the largest neurons in the fly. We describe the protocol for monitoring synaptic transmission through this pathway by recording post synaptic potentials in dorsal longitudinal (DLM) and tergotrochanteral (TTM) muscles following direct stimulation of the Giant Fiber interneurons.
Paired Nanoinjection and Electrophysiology Assay to Screen for Bioactivity of Compounds using the Drosophila melanogaster Giant Fiber System
A rapid in vivo assay to test for neuromodulatory compounds using the Giant Fiber System (GFS) of Drosophila melanogaster is described. Nanoinjections in the head of the animal along with electrophysiological recordings of the GFS can reveal bioactivity of compounds on neurons or muscles.
The comparative species approach allows behavioral neuroscientists to explore various neurobiological factors associated with specific behaviors viewed as characteristic of a specific animal model. Taking advantage of naturally occurring differences in behavior between closely related species, this technique doesn’t require invasive techniques to manipulate the expression of the behavior.
In this video we will describe one method of assessing person's psychophysiological reaction to stress using biofeedback. We will also present general guidelines for treatment planning.
Assessing Neurodegenerative Phenotypes in Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons by Climbing Assays and Whole Brain Immunostaining
Here we describe two assays that have been established to study age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila: the climbing/startle-induced negative geotaxis assay which allows to study the functional effects of DA neurons degeneration and the tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining which is used to identify and count DA neurons in whole brain mounts.
We use a closed-loop fly-machine interface to investigate general principles in neuronal control.
A methodology to investigate the neural mechanisms that support aware and unaware memory processes during fear conditioning is described. This method monitors blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging, skin conductance response, and unconditioned stimulus expectancy during Pavlovian fear conditioning to assess the neural correlates of distinct memory processes.
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, 2Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, 3Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, 4Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University, 5Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, 6Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Medical Center, 7Department of Psychology, Yale University, 8Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, 9Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology, University of Illinois
We present a protocol that allows investigation of the neural mechanisms mediating the detrimental impact of emotion on cognition, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. This protocol can be used with both healthy and clinical participants.
Here are some highlights from the March 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
1Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2Neuroscience Graduate Group, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
A multi-faceted approach to investigating functional changes to hippocampal circuitry is explained. Electrophysiological techniques are described along with the injury protocol, behavioral testing and regional dissection method. The combination of these techniques can be applied in similar fashion for other brain regions and scientific questions.
1Unit on Neural Circuits and Adaptive Behaviors, Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 2Department of Neuroscience, Brown University - National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program, 3Section on Synaptic Pharmacology, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 4Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown
Experience-dependent molecular changes in neurons are essential for the brain's ability to adapt in response to behavioral challenges. An in vivo two-photon imaging method is described here that allows the tracking of such molecular changes in individual cortical neurons through genetically encoded reporters.
Measuring the Subjective Value of Risky and Ambiguous Options using Experimental Economics and Functional MRI Methods
1Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine, 3Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4Department of Psychology, New York University, 5Department of Economics, New York University
Using functional MRI and behavioral methods to determine the neural representation of the subjective value of risky and ambiguous options in the human brain.
We developed the Visual-Motor Response to quantitate the motor output of larval zebrafish in response to light increments and decrements. We also examined zebrafish vision mutants, including the no optokinetic response (nrc) mutants, which were thought to be completely blind when tested by another vision assay, the optokinetic reflex.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
A fast and inexpensive method for the behavioral determination of hearing parameters like hearing thresholds, hearing impairments or phantom perceptions (subjective tinnitus) is described. It uses pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and can be easily implemented in a personal computer using a programmable AD/DA-converter and a piezo sensor.
T-maze Forced Alternation and Left-right Discrimination Tasks for Assessing Working and Reference Memory in Mice
1Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 2Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 3Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
This article presents the protocol of T-maze tests using a modified automated apparatus for assessing the learning and memory functions in mice.
1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 4Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 5Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 6Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 7Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
We present a protocol that allows investigation of the neural correlates of deliberate and automatic emotion regulation, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. This protocol can be used in healthy participants, both young and older, as well as in clinical patients.
MazeSuite is a complete toolset to prepare, present and analyze navigational and spatial experiments. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) is an optical brain imaging technique that enables noninvasive and portable monitoring of cerebral blood oxygenation changes. This paper summarizes collective use of MazeSuite and fNIR within a cognitive processing learning paradigm.
Deep brain stimulation surgery offers a unique opportunity to examine information encoding in the awake human brain. This article will describe intra-operative methods used to perform cognitive and behavioral tasks while simultaneously acquiring physiological data such as EMG, single-unit neuronal activity and/or local field potentials.
Parasitoid (parasitic) wasps constitute a major class of natural enemies of many insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We will introduce the techniques to propagate these parasites in Drosophila spp. and demonstrate how to analyze their effects on immune tissues of Drosophila larvae.