Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Region Linked To Fly Slumber

Date:
June 12, 2006
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Researchers at Northwestern University have pinpointed a brain area in flies that is crucial to sleep, raising interesting speculation over the purpose of sleep and its possible link with learning and memory. The scientists show that the so-called mushroom bodies are essential for sleep regulation in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. How the mushroom bodies control sleep is uncertain, but the researchers show that if the area is destroyed chemically, flies sleep less.

Ravi Allada, M.D.
Credit: Image courtesy of Northwestern University

Researchers at Northwestern University have pinpointed a brain area in flies that is crucial to sleep, raising interesting speculation over the purpose of sleep and its possible link with learning and memory.

In a paper to be published June 8 by the journal Nature, a team led by Ravi Allada, assistant professor of neurobiology and physiology, shows that the so-called mushroom bodies are essential for sleep regulation in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. (In the same issue, a second study, led by Amita Sehgal of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, produced similar results using different methods.)

How the mushroom bodies control sleep is uncertain, but Allada and colleagues show that if the area is destroyed chemically, flies sleep less.

Mushroom bodies are known to have a role in learning and memory, raising the possibility that sleep and learning are somehow linked in the fly brain. This lends weight to the notion that, in flies, sleep may function to consolidate memories that are formed during the day -- something that is known to occur in vertebrates.

Sleeping flies are similar to sleeping humans. Both are groggy when woken suddenly and need extra slumber if sleep deprived. It's therefore possible, the authors argue, that a mechanism regulating both sleep and learning could be evolutionarily conserved. So studying the mushroom bodies may help to throw light on the mechanisms governing vertebrate and invertebrate sleep.

In addition to Allada, other authors on the Nature paper are Jena L. Pitman (co-first author), Jermaine J. McGill and Kevin P. Keegan, all from Northwestern University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Brain Region Linked To Fly Slumber." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082835.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2006, June 12). Brain Region Linked To Fly Slumber. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082835.htm
Northwestern University. "Brain Region Linked To Fly Slumber." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082835.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins