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Visual Associative Learning in Restrained Honey Bees with Intact Antennae

Fahrbach, Susan E.

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abstract
A restrained honey bee can be trained to extend its proboscis in response to the pairing of an odor with a sucrose reward, a form of olfactory associative learning referred to as the proboscis extension response (PER). Although the ability of flying honey bees to respond to visual cues is well-established, associative visual learning in restrained honey bees has been challenging to demonstrate. Those few groups that have documented vision-based PER have reported that removing the antennae prior to training is a prerequisite for learning. Here we report, for a simple visual learning task, the first successful performance by restrained honey bees with intact antennae. Honey bee foragers were trained on a differential visual association task by pairing the presentation of a blue light with a sucrose reward and leaving the presentation of a green light unrewarded. A negative correlation was found between age of foragers and their performance in the visual PER task. Using the adaptations to the traditional PER task outlined here, future studies can exploit pharmacological and physiological techniques to explore the neural circuit basis of visual learning in the honey bee.
subject
evolutionary biology
neuroscience
physiology
citation
6 (issue)
7 (volume)
contributor
Dobrin, Scott E. (author)
Fahrbach, Susan E. (author)
date
2012-08-07T20:03:56Z (accessioned)
2012-08-07T20:03:56Z (available)
2012-06 (issued)
identifier
Dobrin SE, Fahrbach SE (2012) Visual Associative Learning in Restrained Honey Bees with Intact Antennae. PLoS ONE 7(6): e37666. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037666 (citation)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/37395 (uri)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037666 (uri)
publisher
PLoS: Public Library of Science
source
PLoS ONE
title
Visual Associative Learning in Restrained Honey Bees with Intact Antennae
type
Article

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