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Commun Biol. 2019 Aug 13;2:309. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0557-5. eCollection 2019.

Neural circuitry of social learning in Drosophila requires multiple inputs to facilitate inter-species communication.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Systems Biology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH 03755 USA.

Abstract

Drosophila species communicate the threat of parasitoid wasps to naïve individuals. Communication of the threat between closely related species is efficient, while more distantly related species exhibit a dampened, partial communication. Partial communication between D. melanogaster and D. ananassae about wasp presence is enhanced following a period of cohabitation, suggesting that species-specific natural variations in communication 'dialects' can be learned through socialization. In this study, we identify six regions of the Drosophila brain essential for dialect training. We pinpoint subgroups of neurons in these regions, including motion detecting neurons in the optic lobe, layer 5 of the fan-shaped body, the D glomerulus in the antennal lobe, and the odorant receptor Or69a, where activation of each component is necessary for dialect learning. These results reveal functional neural circuits that underlie complex Drosophila social behaviors, and these circuits are required for integration several cue inputs involving multiple regions of the Drosophila brain.

KEYWORDS:

Behavioural genetics; Learning and memory; Neural circuits; Social evolution; Social neuroscience

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing interests.

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