Temporal control of odor-induced motivational state in a drosophila model
Thomas, Shelby Elizabeth
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Motivation and goal-directed behaviors are associated with prevalent human conditions such as addiction, ADHD, and depression, but the mechanisms mediating how motivational states are temporally regulated are not fully understood. Drosophila melanogaster larvae have a numerically simplified central nervous system that is organized into processing centers similar to mammalian brains and serve as a good model for determining neural pathways involved in motivational state. Here, I define a behavior paradigm to determine genes, receptors, and neurons required for the maintenance and termination of odor-aroused motivation in Drosophila using genetic and cellular tools. I show that dopamine release from the DL1 cluster onto Dop1R2 receptors in a higher-order odor-processing center, the mushroom body, is required for normal termination of the motivational state. I will outline a three-step model of the temporal control of motivational state through a NPF, dopamine, and mushroom body circuit.