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Mapping the stereotyped behaviour of freely moving fruit flies

Author(s): Berman, GJ; Choi, DM; Bialek, William; Shaevitz, Joshua W

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Abstract: A frequent assumption in behavioural science is that most of an animal’s activities can be described in terms of a small set of stereotyped motifs. Here we introduce a method for mapping an animal’s actions, relying only upon the underlying structure of postural movement data to organise and classify behaviours. Applying this method to the ground-based behaviour of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we find that flies perform stereotyped actions roughly 50% of the time, discovering over 100 distinguishable, stereotyped behavioural states. These include multiple modes of locomotion and grooming. We use the resulting measurements as the basis for identifying subtle sex-specific behavioural differences and revealing the low-dimensional nature of animal motions.
Publication Date: 6-Oct-2014
Electronic Publication Date: 20-Aug-2014
Citation: Berman, GJ, Choi, DM, Bialek, W, Shaevitz, JW. (2014). Mapping the stereotyped behaviour of freely moving fruit flies. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 11 (99), 20140672 - 20140672. doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0672
DOI: doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0672
ISSN: 1742-5689
EISSN: 1742-5662
Pages: 20140672 - 20140672
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of The Royal Society Interface
Version: Author's manuscript

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