Scientists Identify Brain Switch That Controls a Vital Survival Instinct in Organisms - ScienceAlert
Nov 30, 2021 50 secs
Knowing when to head out looking for food and when to stop and eat instead is an important judgment call for any species that wants to survive for an extended period of time – and the switch in the brain managing these behaviors has just been identified.

elegans brain, but tracking down this feast vs forage switch was still a considerable challenge: the team went as far as developing a whole new type of microscope that enabled them to track neuron activity through calcium traces that triggered flashes of light, while the animals moved freely.

"To a foraging worm, food odors are an important, but ambiguous, sensory cue," says Flavell.

"AIA's ability to detect food odors and to transmit that information to these different downstream circuits, dependent on other incoming cues, allows animals to contextualize the smell and make adaptive foraging decisions.".

But if the worm can smell food and isn't eating, AIA will switch to the roaming circuit so the worm can find out where the food is.

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