Controlling airborne cues to study small animal navigation

Marc Gershow, Matthew Berck, Dennis Mathew, Linjiao Luo, Elizabeth A. Kane, John R. Carlson, Aravinthan D.T. Samuel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Small animals such as nematodes and insects analyze airborne chemical cues to infer the direction of favorable and noxious locations. In these animals, the study of navigational behavior evoked by airborne cues has been limited by the difficulty of precisely controlling stimuli. We present a system that can be used to deliver gaseous stimuli in defined spatial and temporal patterns to freely moving small animals. We used this apparatus, in combination with machine-vision algorithms, to assess and quantify navigational decision making of Drosophila melanogaster larvae in response to ethyl acetate (a volatile attractant) and carbon dioxide (a gaseous repellant).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)290-296
    Number of pages7
    JournalNature methods
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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