The Effect of Infrasound Exposure on Drosophila melanogaster
Four experimental groups of 100 flies were used in the experiment, all which were exposed to 16 hz sine wave at 100 dB for 0, 3, 7, and 24 hrs a day for 5 days At the end of the five days the fly’s ability to learn to avoid a desirable scent was tested in a t-maze. A pre-training score was taken of what percentage of the flies naturally avoided the scent. The flies were then trained to avoid the scent using shaking as reinforcement. Finally, a post training score was taken. These scores were used to calculate a percent learning index. Two successful trials were conducted.
Analysis suggests that the initial hypothesis is valid, however all lengths of exposure used in this experiment statistically yielded the same impairment in learning, a reduction of 25-30%. Unexpectedly, the exposure time appears to have a significant impact on pre-training vinegar avoidance score, which may indicate a serious impairment in the olfactory system, chemoreceptors, and/ or Johnston's organs. It may also be indicative of severe CNS damage.
Further experimentation should be conducted to differentiate between the impacts of physical damage and neurologic impairment on the learning index.