Dataset Open Access
Optogenetics has become an important tool to study behavior: it enables neuroscientists to infer causations by examining animal behavior after activating genetically circumscribed neurons with light. Light-induced activity is profoundly affected by illumination parameters used in experiments, such as intensity, duration, and frequency. How sensitive behavioral outcomes to light-dependent spike changes has not been extensively studied. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that light frequency would alter optogenetically induced behaviours. To test this, we activated olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in Drosophila by using either static- or pulsed-light stimuli. Static- and pulsed-light stimulations elicited distinct valence responses (attraction, aversion, neutral) to artificial activity in ORNs. Our results demonstrate the importance of light frequency for interpreting behavioral experiments accurately, and suggest that multiple light parameters should be tested before generalizing behavioral experiment results.