Headless mating flies and how we tell time

This may sound familiar: you are studying and your phone buzzes. At first, it is easy to stay focused, but as more time passes, it becomes much harder to ignore the distractions that surround you. The conflict between persisting in one task and moving onto another underlies much of our behavior. Our ability to maintain a behavior or a state of mind over time is affected by our internal state (our emotions and our mindfulness), the external environment, and the interplay between the two. What are the mechanisms that are controlling our task persistence? A recent study by Michael Crickmore and Leslie Vosshall at the Rockefeller University gave us clues into this problem. The researchers studie