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"Fly Science"

no. 20110611_0676

Dickinson Lab, UW

One of the many methods used for studying visually mediated behaviors in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) by scientists in the Dickinson Lab at the University of Washington (which includes myself) is a tethered flight preperation in which the flies are glued to a tiny titanium pin, allowing them to flap their wings without ever getting anywhere. The tethered fly is then placed in a cylindrical arena of LED's (light emitting diodes) that are programmed to present various visual stimuli. The fly's response, such as it's attempt to turn left or right, can then be studied by measuring the ratio of the wingbeat amplitudes for the left and right wings. To get into the fly's world I used a modified fisheye lens which I positioned just millimeters in front of the fly, inside one of our LED flight arenas.  

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