Integrative Physiology and BehaviorJournalSensory Systems

The good, the bad, and the hungry: how the central brain codes odor valence to facilitate food approach in Drosophila

Elements along the olfactory neural pathways that support approach behavior (green), avoidance behavior (red) or that are modulated as a function of satiety state (blue).

All animals must eat in order to survive but first they must successfully locate and appraise food resources in a manner consonant with their needs. To accomplish this, external sensory information, in particular olfactory food cues, need to be detected and appropriately categorized. Recent advances in Drosophila point to the existence of parallel processing circuits within the central brain that encode odor valence, supporting approach and avoidance behaviors. Strikingly, many elements within these neural systems are subject to modification as a function of the fly’s satiety state. In this review we describe those advances and their potential impact on the decision to feed.

Sachse S, Beshel J. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 2016, 40:53–58