Machine works, flies are not learning

on Monday, May 22nd, 2023 11:48 | by

The old software is installed with the new hardware and I’ll be testing the new software in parallel to experiments with the old software. Technically, everything seems to be working now, but the first six flies I tested did not show learning after training:

However, avoidance looks fairly ok, only the last training period gives away that something still isn’t quite the way it should be:

So I’ll go ahead and train a new batch of flies this week. I’ll focus on training/avoidance and make sure it is perfect, before I shorten the training.

Positive controls in joystick optogenetics

on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 7:40 | by

I’ve started rescreening Christian’s most consistent dopaminergic lines with the positive controls at the joystick machine, to see if everything works. These flies express the optogenetic channel Chrimson in Gr28bd and TrpA1 heat sensitive neurons, so they should use the joystick to switch the light off.

I tested three rounds of three flies each and I got the impression that it worked while I was looking at the flies. The data didn’t look that great, however:

Experimental time course of positive control flies. PIs (Y-axis) should be mostly negative.

Setting up the experiments, I noticed that the middle setup didn’t really focus the light on the head of the fly very well. This shows in the raw performance index data:

The two middle flies (row #2 and #8) have positive preferences, but never avoid the light, while nearly all other flies do avoid the light to various extents, even if they start out with a positive preference. So I deleted these two flies to see how the data would look then:

As above, only this time with the training periods averaged at the end (“Means”).

I decided that this should be good enough. I improved the middle setup to focus the light better on the fly’s head. Hopefully it will improve the PIs of the flies placed there now.