Teaching report: the use of Drosophila melanogaster larval thermosensitive escape behaviour as a model system to demonstrate sensory function

Invert Neurosci. 2011 Dec;11(2):109-12. doi: 10.1007/s10158-011-0123-4. Epub 2011 Oct 14.


We describe how a novel thermosensitive escape behaviour in Drosophila larvae can be used to teach neurobiology principles to both undergraduates and school children. The assays are inexpensive, robust and reliably accurate employing apparatus readily available in most science classrooms. The use of Drosophila avoids the employment of vertebrate models and the ethical and expense issues that this entails. We use this practical to effectively teach the principals of calibration and neural sensory responses to post-16-year-old students and undergraduate students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Bioethical Issues
  • Calibration
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Humans
  • Laboratories
  • Larva / physiology
  • Models, Animal
  • Nociception / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System / physiology*
  • Research / education*
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Students
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Young Adult