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Pavin, A., Fain, K., DeHart, A., Sitaraman, D. (2018). Aversive and Appetitive Learning in Drosophila Larvae: A Simple and Powerful Suite of Laboratory Modules for Classroom or Open-ended Research Projects.  J. Undergrad. Neurosci. Educ. 16(2): A177--AA185.
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Research paper

A key element of laboratory courses introducing students to neuroscience includes behavioral exercises. Associative learning experiments often conducted in research laboratories are difficult to perform and time consuming. Commonly, these experiments cannot be performed without extensive instrumentation or animal care facilities. Here, we describe three distinct laboratory modules that build on simple chemosensory and memory assays in Drosophila larvae. Additionally, we describe open-ended research projects using these assays that can be developed into semester long independent research experiences. Given that Drosophila is a genetic model organism, these simple behavioral assays can be used to generate multiple hypothesis driven projects aimed at identifying a gene or class of neurons involved in appetitive and aversive learning. These lab modules are ideally suited for undergraduates at all levels to experience and can be incorporated in a lower/upper level neuroscience course or as a high school outreach exercise. Further, these modules enable students to collect their own data sets, work in groups in collating large data sets, performing statistical comparisons, and presenting results in the form of short research papers or traditional laboratory reports that include a short literature review.

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PMC6057766 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    J. Undergrad. Neurosci. Educ.
    Journal of undergraduate neuroscience education : JUNE
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