1. Neuroscience
  2. Physics of Living Systems
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Olfactory Navigation: Tempo is the key

  1. Antonio Celani  Is a corresponding author
  1. Quantitative Life Sciences, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e63385 doi: 10.7554/eLife.63385
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How a walking fly navigates towards the source of an odor.

Flies that have been starved are attracted to smoke. In this schematic diagram of a wind tunnel experiment, the fly starts on the right, the source of the smoke is on the left, and the wind blows from left to right (black arrow). When far from the source (right box), the fly is less likely to encounter the odor, leading to frequent stops (red dots) and a similar number of upwind and downwind (green and blue dots) turns. Once the fly gets closer to the source (left box), it is more likely to encounter the odor, and the number of stops decrease, while the frequency of upwind turns increases.

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