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Learn Mem. 1998 May-Jun;5(1-2):146-56.

Multiple sites of associative odor learning as revealed by local brain microinjections of octopamine in honeybees.

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Institut für Neurobiologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.


In a classical conditioning procedure, honeybees associate an odor with sucrose resulting in the capacity of the odor to evoke an appetitive response, the extension of the proboscis (PER). Here, we study the effects of pairing an odor with injections of octopamine (OA) as a substitute for sucrose into three putative brain sites of odor/sucrose convergence. OA injected into the mushroom body (MB) calyces or the antennal lobe but not the lateral protocerebral lobe produces a lasting, pairing-specific enhancement of PER. During pairings, OA injected into the MB calyces results in an additional pairing-specific effect, because it does not lead to an acquisition but a consolidation after conditioning. These results suggest that the neuromodulator OA has the capacity of inducing associative learning in an insect brain. Moreover, they suggest the antennal lobes and the calyces as at least partially independent sites of associating odors that may contribute differently to learning and memory consolidation.

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