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PiVR: an affordable and versatile closed-loop platform to study unrestrained sensorimotor behavior

Citation

Tadres, David; Louis, Matthieu (2020), PiVR: an affordable and versatile closed-loop platform to study unrestrained sensorimotor behavior, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.25349/D9ZK50

Abstract

Tools enabling closed-loop experiments are crucial to delineate causal relationships between the activity of genetically-labeled neurons and specific behaviors. We developed the Raspberry Pi Virtual Reality system (PiVR) to conduct closed-loop optogenetic stimulation of neural functions in unrestrained animals. PiVR is an experimental platform that operates at high-temporal resolution (70 Hz) with low latencies (<30 ms), while being affordable (<$500) and easy to build (<6 hours). Through extensive documentation, this tool was designed to be accessible to a wide public, from high-school students to professional researchers studying systems neuroscience. We illustrate the functionality of PiVR by focusing on sensory navigation in response to gradients of chemicals (chemotaxis) and light (phototaxis). We show how Drosophila flies perform negative chemotaxis by modulating their locomotor speed to avoid locations associated with optogenetically-evoked bitter taste. In Drosophila larvae, we use innate positive chemotaxis to compare behavior elicited by real- and virtual-odor gradients. Finally, we examine how positive phototaxis emerges in zebrafish larvae from the modulation of turning maneuvers to orient in virtual white-light gradients. Besides its application to study chemotaxis and phototaxis, PiVR is a versatile tool designed to bolster efforts to map and to functionally characterize neural circuits.

 

 

Methods

For a description of the PiVR tool you may find all technical information at www.PiVR.org

For a description of the behavioral experiments involving Drosophila and Zebrafish, see publication with title "PiVR: an affordable and versatile losed-loop platform to study unrestrained sensorimotor behavior" (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000712)

Usage Notes

To recreate figures and movies shown in the the publication with the title "PiVR: an affordable and versatile closed-loop platform to study unrestrained sensorimotor behavior" please:

1. Download the two files: "pivr_publication.zip" and "README_ZIP.MD".

2. Follow instructions in "README_ZIP.MD".

3. Use the list in "Guide.MD" to find individual scripts used to create plots in the publication.

Please note: The scripts (without the data) used to create the plots can also be found on the following gitlab repository: https://gitlab.com/LouisLab/pivr_publication

 

Funding

National Institutes of Health, Award: R01-NS113048