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The sleeping fly: neural circuits that control behavioral state

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Why and how we sleep has been a matter of speculation and study for millennia. Primate and rodent model systems have provided great insights into sleep, but the circuitry in these organisms is quite complex. The recent finding that insects sleep suggests that Drosophila melanogaster, a simple and genetically tractable organism, can be used to study this process. This lecture will present behavioral and molecular evidence that the strategies used by the fly brain to generate sleep mirror those of the human brain and that the architecture of sleep circuits is evolutionarily conserved.

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