A sub-category of individual play is sliding, swinging, spinning - in short: voluntary passive movement. We examine to which degree this can be found in insects and what it's good for.

enlarge the image: Fly activity rendered in MATLAB (Bild: W. Huetteroth)
enlarge the image: movement activity of a fly over 4 days (pic: W. Huetteroth)


Many animals expose themselves to passive movement like swinging, sliding and spinning. Do insects do the same if they have the choice, and if yes - why?


We expose flies to a stress-free 'enriched environment', where they can voluntarily move onto a spinning platform. Subsequently, we search for 1) stereotypical behavioural traits and 2) test carousel-exposed males for their mating success in a competitive courtship assay.


We are trying to understand the evolutionary advantage of intentional exafference.


Seeking voluntary passive movement in flies is play-like behavior
Triphan T, Huetteroth W.
bioRxiv 2023 Aug 04;1:11.
DOI: 10.1101/2023.08.03.551880

A screen for constituents of motor control and decision making in Drosophila reveals visual distance-estimation neurons
Triphan T, Nern A, Roberts SF, Korff W, Naiman DQ, Strauss R.
Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 3;6:27000.
DOI: 10.1038/srep27000

Layered reward signalling through octopamine and dopamine in Drosophila
Burke CJ*, Huetteroth W*, Owald D, Perisse E, Krashes MJ, Das G, Gohl D, Silies M, Certel S, Waddell S.
Nature. 2012 Dec 20;492(7429):433-7.
DOI: 10.1038/nature11614


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