Autonomous circuitry for substrate exploration in freely moving Drosophila larvae

Jimena Berni, Stefan R Pulver, Leslie C Griffith, Michael Bate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Many organisms, from bacteria to human hunter-gatherers, use specialized random walk strategies to explore their environment. Such behaviors are an efficient stratagem for sampling the environment and usually consist of an alternation between straight runs and turns that redirect these runs. Drosophila larvae execute an exploratory routine of this kind that consists of sequences of straight crawls, pauses, turns, and redirected crawls. Central pattern generating networks underlying rhythmic movements are distributed along the anteroposterior axis of the nervous system. The way in which the operation of these networks is incorporated into extended behavioral routines such as substrate exploration has not yet been explored. In particular, the part played by the brain in dictating the sequence of movements required is unknown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1861-70
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent biology : CB
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2012


  • Abdomen
  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Central Pattern Generators
  • Chemotaxis
  • Drosophila
  • Exploratory Behavior
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate
  • Larva
  • Movement
  • Synapses
  • Thorax


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomous circuitry for substrate exploration in freely moving Drosophila larvae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this