ALGORITHMIC AND NEUROMUSCULAR IMPLEMENTATIONS OF FLIGHT CONTROL IN DROSOPHILA
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Whitehead, Samuel Charles
Insects like Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) are among the most adept fliers in the animal kingdom. Their aerial prowess is made all the more impressive by the inherent challenges of flight at small spatial scales: to stay aloft, flies must counteract rapidly diverging aerodynamic instabilities by continually adjusting their wing motion with exquisite precision at millisecond timescales. To accomplish this remarkable feat, flies must be able to rapidly measure changes to their body orientation, use this sensory information to formulate an appropriate behavioral response, and then execute this response using the sparse wing musculature, all in less than a tenth of the time it takes for a human to blink their eyes. Decades of anatomical and behavioral studies have yielded significant insight into the this fascinating flight control reflex; however, we still lack a mechanistic understanding of how it is implemented. Here, I leverage recent advances in genetic tools for cell-specific neuronal targeting and manipulation in Drosophila, along with quantitative behavioral modeling, to systematically investigate the neural and muscular components of the circuits underlying rapid flight stabilization.
control; Drosophila; flight; fly; steering muscles
Sethna, James Patarasp; Goldberg, Jesse H.
Ph. D., Physics
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International