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Flies don't walk much. Depression has biological basis.

OobieMoobie

OobieMoobie

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Learned Helplessness in Flies and the Roots of Depression
When faced with impossible circumstances beyond their control, animals, including humans, often hunker down as they develop sleep or eating disorders, ulcers, and other physical manifestations of depression. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 18 show that the same kind of thing happens to flies.
When faced with impossible circumstances beyond their control, animals, including humans, often hunker down as they develop sleep or eating disorders, ulcers, and other physical manifestations of depression. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 18 show that the same kind of thing happens to flies. (Credit: Current Biology, Yang et al.)



The study is a step toward understanding the biological basis for depression and presents a new way for testing antidepressant drugs, the researchers say. The discovery of such symptoms in an insect shows that the roots of depression are very deep indeed.

“Depressions are so devastating because they go back to such a basic property of behavior,” says Martin Heisenberg of the Rudolf Virchow Center in Würzburg, Germany.

Heisenberg says that the idea for the study came out of a lengthy discussion with a colleague about how to ask whether flies can feel fear. Franco Bertolucci, a coauthor on the study, had found that flies can rapidly learn to suppress innate behaviors, a phenomenon that is part of learned helplessness.

The researchers now show that flies experiencing uncomfortable levels of heat will walk to escape it. But if the flies realize that the heat is beyond their control and can’t be avoided, they will stop responding, walking more slowly and taking longer and more frequent rests, as if they were “depressed.”

Intriguingly, female flies slow down more under those stressful circumstances than males do. It’s not clear exactly what that means, but Heisenberg explains, “if we realize that the fly trapped in a strange, dark box, unable to get rid of the dangerous heat pulses, has to find a compromise between saving energy and not missing any chance of escape, we can understand that such a compromise may come out differently for males and females, as their resources and goals in life are different.”

Heisenberg’s team now intends to explore other questions, such as: How long does the flies’ depression-like state last? How does it affect other behaviors, like courtship and aggression? What is happening in their brain? And more.

Heisenberg says that the findings are a reminder of a lesson that children’s books are often best at showing: “Animals have lots in common with us humans. They breathe the same air, share many of the same resources, actively explore space, and have distinct social roles. Their brains serve the same purpose, too: they help them to do the right thing.”
I can't help but question the methodology here.
 
shaky

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I've never heard such a load of toss!

The flies start walking because flying uses more energy and makes them even hotter.
They slow down when it gets hotter as even walking makes them hotter.
Eventually they stop altogether to try to stay cool.


Reminds me of one of the oldest jokes in the book

"Why do birds fly south for winter?"
.
.
.
.
"Because it's too far to walk"



Or

"Why do flies fly?"
.
.
"Because if they didn't they'd be called 'walks'"

:LOL:
 
pepecat

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So something 'learned' is the same as something 'biological'?

How does that work?
 
OobieMoobie

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I don't get how this paper even got published to be honest. I'm not great on my fly knowledge, but I'm sure we aren't aware if they are able to "learn" or not... There's a host of more likely options than the fly got depressed over the inevitability of being warm.
 
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|||ME|||

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I struggle to respond to these studies in politically correct terms. Anyone know what the most insulting politically correct term is? It's makes about as much sense as the typical biological ones into Schizophrenia I see posted here. I don't know how they all get away with it?
___

“Animals have lots in common with us humans. They breathe the same air, share many of the same resources, actively explore space, and have distinct social roles.”

Did anyone else's brain run with this bit and make them end up laughing or is it just me?

... looked up flies in space and it's actually true! - "The first known organisms sent into space were fruit flies aboard a U.S.-launched V-2 rocket on February 20, 1947".
 
OobieMoobie

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They don't actively explore it though lol, they just get sent off there by humans for our own bizarre reasons. I've never met a dog that wanted to be an astronaught!

they even sent a dinosaur skeleton into space once. :D
 
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|||ME|||

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poetic licence lol pmsl
 
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T

Taff

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Flies in space!
I think I can assist on this one, in the absence of further scientific evidence.
 

cpuusage

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I keep some pet schizophrenic flies, as part of a psychosocial experiment I'm conducting. They respond well to some Jungian process conditioning, & I have had some limited successes with some different neuroleptic medications; that I sprinkle over the decaying matter that I feed them. When I'm finished experimenting with them; I put them in toy rockets & blast them off into space (in that direction anyway).
 
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