A smart computer program named JAABA has helped scientists create a brain-wide atlas of fruit fly behavior. The machine-learning program tracked the position and cataloged the behaviors of 400,000 fruit flies, in more than 225 days of video footage, helping researchers match specific behaviors to different groups of neurons.
Their results are the most comprehensive neural maps of behavior yet created. Such detailed maps could give researchers a starting point for tracing the neural circuitry flies use to produce specific behaviors, such as jumping or wing grooming. Understanding the inner workings of the fly brain could even offer insight into the neural basis of human behavior.