Ruedi Stoop and Benjamin I. Arthur, Jr.
Institute for Neuroinformatics ETHZ/UNIZH, Winterthurerstr.
We use symbolic dynamics to describe Drosophila courtship communication. We posit that behavior should be defined in terms of irreducible periodic orbits of fundamental acts. This leads to a first operational definition of behavior, which allows for a fine grained quantitative analysis of behavior. We obtain evidence that during Drosophila courtship, individual characteristics of the protagonists are exchanged (predominantly from the male to the female) and that males in the presence of fruitless males perform a behavioral switch from male to female behavior