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Properties of learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster

Dudai, Yadin (1977) Properties of learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 114 (1). pp. 69-89. ISSN 0340-7594. doi:10.1007/bf00656809.

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Drosophila melanogaster can be conditioned to avoid an odorant selectively after being shocked in its presence (Quinn et al., 1974). In the following study learning and memory properties of the flies are reported. The major part of the conditioned behavior is acquired after a single training trial (Fig. 2). Similar degrees of learning are obtained by using various odorants in various combinations (Table 1). The flies can learn to avoid selectively several odorants at a time, can learn to discriminate between different concentrations of the same odorant (Fig. 4), and can also learn to distinguish a mixture of odorants from its components. If not extinguished, the selective avoidance decays slowly and can be detected for hours, its magnitude depending upon the intensity of training (Fig. 6). Memory can be disrupted by narcosis during the first ∼20 min after training, but not afterwards (Fig. 7). A study of learning properties of wild-type strains and various morphological and behavioral mutants reveals differences in performance (Table 2). However, the differences cannot be attributed with certainty to differences in learning and memory, per se, because the mutants differ in other aspects of behavior, e.g., locomotor activity and phototaxis. Of the wild-type strains tested, Canton-S performed the best.

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Additional Information:I thank Dr. S. Benzer for the hospitality of his laboratory, and S. Benzer, D. Byers, W. Harris, L. Jan, Y.-N. Jan, W. Quinn, D. Ready and M. Shankland for valuable discussions. This work was supported by an EMBO long-term fellowship and by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Dr. S. Benzer.
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ID Code:117243
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Oct 2022 22:32
Last Modified:12 Oct 2022 22:32

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