Attention-like processes in Drosophila require short-term memory genes

Science. 2007 Mar 16;315(5818):1590-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1137931.

Abstract

Although there is much behavioral evidence for complex brain functions in insects, it is not known whether insects have selective attention. In humans, selective attention is a dynamic process restricting perception to a succession of salient stimuli, while less relevant competing stimuli are suppressed. Local field potential recordings in the brains of flies responding to visual novelty revealed attention-like processes with stereotypical temporal properties. These processes were modulated by genes involved in short-term memory formation, namely dunce and rutabaga. Attention defects in these mutants were associated with distinct optomotor effects in behavioral assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases / genetics*
  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases / metabolism
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / genetics*
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Brain / physiology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophysiology
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Motion Perception
  • Mutation
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Vision, Ocular

Substances

  • Drosophila Proteins
  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Rut protein, Drosophila