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Happy flies look for a place like home
Date:10/20/2009

ound. The flies that had the negative experience showed no preference for habitats similar to their birth habitats.

The results, Stamps says, suggest that "associative learning" is involved when young fruit flies choose a new habitat. Flies are apparently able to connect cues from their birthplaces with the experiences they had there. Flies that associated the smell of food and the sight of shelter with a nice meal and a safe hiding place sought a new habitat with the same sort of food and hiding places. But if those same cues were not associated with feeding and safety, the flies were not inordinately drawn to that habitat type.

Whether other animals would react the same way is still an open question, Stamps says.

"It would be fun to see whether humans with happy childhoods also prefer to settle in areas that are similar to those in which they were born and raised," she said. "Are we more likely to choose a new habitat like a large city versus a small town versus countryside based on where we were raised and what happened to us there?"


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Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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