A research group led by Professor Taku Tanimoto of the Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University found that the sense of rhythm of Drosophila declines with aging.
According to Tohoku University, electrical stimulation was applied to the grounded part of the foot of Drosophila of different ages at 2-second intervals, and what kind of escape behavior was observed.
It was confirmed that when such an electrical stimulus was given, Drosophila flew or ran in an attempt to escape the stimulus, and even though there was no stimulus 2 seconds after the last stimulus, they behaved in the same way.The research group believes that Drosophila have the ability to accurately measure time in seconds and behave according to the measured rhythm.
However, while young Drosophila tried to avoid electrical stimulation by flying, the aging Drosophila changed their escape rhythm to walking, and as they grew older, the rhythm disappeared.
In humans, it has been reported that rhythmic movements at intervals of several seconds become inaccurate due to movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, whose incidence increases with age.The research group suspects that this ability was acquired early in evolution, as vertebrate humans and invertebrate Drosophila share a common decline in timekeeping due to aging.
Studies on the sense of rhythm have been widely observed in vertebrates such as mammals, but there have been few reports in invertebrates such as insects.
Paper information:[Journal of Experimental Biology] Drosophila acquires seconds-scale rhythmic behavior