Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Benjamin A. Eaton, Ph.D.
B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1990
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2000
The Proboscis Extension Reflex (PER): During feeding, fruit flies extend their proboscis to engage their food source. At the neuromuscular level, this extension is controlled by a collection of muscles located on the proboscis including the CM9 muscle group which is innervated by the CM9 motor neuron. Dysfunction of the CM9 muscle or motor neuron results in a measurable change in the PER providing a simple behavioral read-out for changes in neuromuscular performance. We use this system to study the physiological effects of age and diet on motor neuron function.
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