Guo, A (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,
We studied the underlying neural mechanism of a simple choice behavior between competing alternatives in Drosophila. In a flight simulator, individual flies were conditioned to choose one of two flight paths in response to color and shape cues; after the training, they were tested with Contradictory cues. Wild-type flies made a discrete choice that switched from one alternative to the other as the relative salience of color and shape cues gradually changed, but this ability was greatly diminished in mutant (mbm(1)) flies with miniature mushroom bodies or with hydroxyurea ablation of mushroom bodies. Thus, Drosophila genetics may be useful for elucidating the neural basis of choice behavior.