Response competition associated with right–left antennal asymmetries of new and old olfactory memory traces in honeybees

Frasnelli, Elisa and Vallortigara, Giorgio and Rogers, Lesley J. (2010) Response competition associated with right–left antennal asymmetries of new and old olfactory memory traces in honeybees. Behavioural Brain Research, 209 (1). pp. 36-41. ISSN 0166-4328

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Abstract

Lateralized recall of olfactory memory in honeybees was tested, following conditioning of the proboscis
extension reflex (PER), at 1 or 6 h after training. After training with lemon (+)/vanilla (−) or cineol
(+)/eugenol (−) recall at 1 h was better when the odour was presented to the right side of the bee than
when it was presented to the left side. In contrast, recall at 6 h was better when the odour was presented
to the left than to the right side. This confirmed previous evidence of shorter-term recall via the right
antenna and long-term memory recall via the left antenna. However, when trained with either a familiar
appetitive odour (rose) as a negative stimulus, or with a naturally aversive odour (isoamyl acetate, IAA) as
a positive stimulus, bees showed suppression of the response from both the right and the left side at 1 h
after training (likely due to retroactive inhibition) and at 6 h responded to both odours on both sides. We
argued that at 6 h, when access to memory has completed the shift from the right to the left side, memory
of these familiar odours in the left side of the brain would be present as both positive (rose)/negative (IAA)
(as a result of long-term memory either biologically encoded or acquired well before testing) and negative
(rose)/positive (IAA) (as a result of the long-term memory of training) stimuli, thus producing response
competition. As a direct test of this hypothesis, bees were first trained with unfamiliar lemon (+)/vanilla
(−) and then (16 h later) re-trained with vanilla (+)/lemon (−); as predicted, 6 h after re-training bees
responded to both odours on both the left and right side.

Keywords:Lateralization, bee, olfactory learning, memory, retroactive interference, response competition
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:30122
Deposited On:16 Mar 2018 13:57

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