Special Reviews

Wired for Sex: The Neurobiology of Drosophila Mating Decisions

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Science  07 Nov 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5903, pp. 904-909
DOI: 10.1126/science.1159276

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Abstract

Decisions about whom to mate with can sometimes be difficult, but making the right choice is critical for an animal's reproductive success. The ubiquitous fruit fly, Drosophila, is clearly very good at making these decisions. Upon encountering another fly, a male may or may not choose to court. He estimates his chances of success primarily on the basis of pheromone signals and previous courtship experience. The female decides whether to accept or reject the male, depending on her perception of his pheromone and acoustic signals, as well as her own readiness to mate. This simple and genetically tractable system provides an excellent model to explore the neurobiology of decision making.

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