Aging affects almost all aspects of an organism—its morphology, its physiology, its behavior. Isolating which biological mechanisms are regulating these changes, however, has proven difficult, potentially due to our inability to characterize the full repertoire of an animal’s behavior across the lifespan. Using data from fruit flies (D. melanogaster) we measure the full repertoire of behaviors as a function of age. We observe a sexually dimorphic pattern of changes in the behavioral repertoire during aging. Although the stereotypy of the behaviors and the complexity of the repertoire overall remains relatively unchanged, we find evidence that the observed alterations in behavior can be explained by changing the fly’s overall energy budget, suggesting potential connections between metabolism, aging, and behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Molecular Biology
- Computational Theory and Mathematics
- Modeling and Simulation