Neuroscientists develop models to identify internal states of the brain

Researchers studied the courtship behaviors of fruit flies to gain insight into how the brain creates “internal states” which culminate from mood, past experiences and other variables. 
 
Their models use observable variables like the speed of the male or his distance to the female. The researchers identified three separate types of songs, generated by wing vibration, plus the choice not to sing. They then linked the song decisions to the observable variables.
 
This work was funded by the Simons Foundation, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative at the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
 
"Unsupervised identification of the internal states that shape natural behavior” by Adam J. Calhoun, Jonathan W. Pillow, and Mala Murthy appears in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.