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Neuron. 2012 May 10;74(3):530-42. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.007.

Dopamine is required for learning and forgetting in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute Florida, Jupiter, FL 33410, USA.

Abstract

Psychological studies in humans and behavioral studies of model organisms suggest that forgetting is a common and biologically regulated process, but the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying forgetting are poorly understood. Here we show that the bidirectional modulation of a small subset of dopamine neurons (DANs) after olfactory learning regulates the rate of forgetting of both punishing (aversive) and rewarding (appetitive) memories. Two of these DANs, MP1 and MV1, exhibit synchronized ongoing activity in the mushroom body neuropil in alive and awake flies before and after learning, as revealed by functional cellular imaging. Furthermore, while the mushroom-body-expressed dDA1 dopamine receptor is essential for the acquisition of memory, we show that the dopamine receptor DAMB, also highly expressed in mushroom body neurons, is required for forgetting. We propose a dual role for dopamine: memory acquisition through dDA1 signaling and forgetting through DAMB signaling in the mushroom body neurons.

PMID:
22578504
PMCID:
PMC4083655
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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