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The ability to control the activity of specific neurons in freely behaving animals provides an effective way to probe the contributions of neural circuits to behavior. Wide interest in studying principles of neural circuit function using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has fueled the construction of an extensive transgenic toolkit for performing such neural manipulations. Here we describe approaches for using these tools to manipulate the activity of specific neurons and assess how those manipulations impact the behavior of flies. We also describe methods for examining connectivity among multiple neurons that together form a neural circuit controlling a specific behavior. This work provides a resource for researchers interested in examining how neurons and neural circuits contribute to the rich repertoire of behaviors performed by flies.
In version two, an error in Figure 5b was corrected. The chromosome was incorrectly labeled as two rather than three. An additional author affiliation was also added. Finally, the top margin was dropped on all pages.