Boffins can read the minds of a fruit fly

Boffins have worked out a way of reading the minds of the humble fruit fly and have made recordings of its brain when it is flying.

Ok the brain recordings of a fruit fly are not ever going to enter the the top ten but the recording was made when it was flying so it does show you how clever the boffins were.

California Institute of Technology researchers led by Professor Michael Dickinson said they used a puff of air to spur tethered fruit flies into flapping their wings while electrodes measured the activity of neurons in the flies’ visual system as high-speed digital cameras recorded their behaviour.

Dickinson said that the work suggests at least part of the brain of the fruit fly is in a different and more sensitive state during flight. Maybe a fruit fly has a fear of flying and is just saying ohshitohshitohshit.

Boffins have recorded the neural-cell activity of fruit flies before, but only when the fly was glued down.In this experiment the insect was tied but free to flap its wings.

According to a paper describing the research appears in the early online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience, which we get for the spot the brain cell competition, Dickson sliced off a patch of the hard cuticle covering the brain, “we were able to target our electrodes onto genetically marked neurons”.

Funny, a bloke I went to school with did that to flies. He was later sectioned under the mental health act. What he should have done was become an MIT boffin.