NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Examines How Fruit Flies Process Odors
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Vanessa Ruta examined how the brains of fruit flies pass signals from odors to different behavioral pathways. Dr. Ruta, Rockefeller University, shows in her latest paper featured in Cell that the mushroom body, a pair of structures in insect brains, acts as a ‘switchboard’ to relay sensory information to different neuronal networks based on the fruit fly’s previous experience and context. Ruta’s Rockefeller University group of researchers concludes that a single olfactory input can manifest in various behaviors based on individual neurons receiving and passing information to different networks. The study uses imaging technology and electrophysiology to understand what happens between neurons at synapses to make sense of how fruit fly brains process odors.