We analyzed the effects of dopamine signaling on the temporal organization of rest and activity in Drosophila melanogaster. Locomotor behaviors were recorded using a video-monitoring system, and the amounts of movements were quantified by using an image processing program. We, first, confirmed that rest bout durations followed long-tailed (i.e., power-law) distributions, whereas activity bout durations did not with a strict method described by Clauset et al. We also studied the effects of circadian rhythm and ambient temperature on rest bouts and activity bouts. The fraction of activity significantly increased during subjective day and at high temperature, but the power-law exponent of the rest bout distribution was not affected. The reduction in rest was realized by reduction in long rest bouts. The distribution of activity bouts did not change drastically under the above mentioned conditions. We then assessed the effects of dopamine. The distribution of rest bouts became less long-tailed and the time spent in activity significantly increased after the augmentation of dopamine signaling. Administration of a dopamine biosynthesis inhibitor yielded the opposite effects. However, the distribution of activity bouts did not contribute to the changes. These results suggest that the modulation of locomotor behavior by dopamine is predominantly controlled by changing the duration of rest bouts, rather than the duration of activity bouts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas