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The Inaugural Henslow Fellows Lectures - Moving without a brain: how do fruit fly larvae explore?

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The second of two half-hour lectures by the Society's Henslow Fellows

To face the challenge of exploring the environment in search of food, shelter, and other resources crucial for survival, most animals use efficient stratagems, which 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. These movements are controlled by nerve networks located at different points along the anterior posterior axis of the nervous system. In this talk, I will present the results of the research I have performed during the tenure of the Henslow Research Fellowship at Downing College. I will show the way in which the operation of the nerve networks is incorporated into the extended behavioral routine required for substrate exploration. In particular, I will reveal the part played by the brain in dictating the sequence of movements required.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Philosophical Society series.

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