Professor Ron Davis discusses the attributes that make the fruit fly a good model for studying memory in humans.
The fruit fly drosophila is one very excellent model for studying human memory. There are several reasons actually. One is flies are very easy to work with in the laboratory. Second you can very easily show they can learn and remember very simple tasks in the laboratory. So you can manipulate them in terms of their behavior in the laboratory. And third, they’re excellent in terms of identifying mutants that fail to form memories, or mutants that fail to express memories. And these mutants allow us to define the genes, the genetic building blocks for how memories are formed and expressed and that’s one of the ultimate goals.