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Learn Mem. 2012 Jan 17;19(2):54-66. doi: 10.1101/lm.024711.111. Print 2012 Feb.

Invertebrate learning and memory: Fifty years of olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response in honeybees.

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Université de Toulouse, UPS, Research Centre for Animal Cognition, France.


The honeybee Apis mellifera has emerged as a robust and influential model for the study of classical conditioning, thanks to the existence of a powerful Pavlovian conditioning protocol, the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). In 2011, the olfactory PER conditioning protocol celebrates 50 years since it was first introduced by Kimihisa Takeda in 1961. Here, we review its origins, developments, and perspectives in order to define future research avenues and necessary methodological and conceptual evolutions. We show that olfactory PER conditioning has become a versatile tool for the study of questions in extremely diverse fields in addition to the study of learning and memory and that it has allowed behavioral characterizations, not only of honeybees, but also of other insect species, for which the protocol was adapted. We celebrate, therefore, Takeda's original work and prompt colleagues to conceive and establish further robust behavioral tools for an accurate characterization of insect learning and memory at multiple levels of analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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