Learn More
Behavioral studies of olfactory discrimination and stimulus generalization in many species indicate that the molecular features of monomolecular odorants are important for odor discrimination. Here we evaluate how features, such as carbon chain length and functional group, are represented in the first level of synaptic processing. We recorded antennal lobe(More)
Avoiding toxins in food is as important as obtaining nutrition. Conditioned food aversions have been studied in animals as diverse as nematodes and humans [1, 2], but the neural signaling mechanisms underlying this form of learning have been difficult to pinpoint. Honeybees quickly learn to associate floral cues with food [3], a trait that makes them an(More)
Animals sample sensory stimuli for longer periods when they must perform difficult discrimination tasks, implying that the brain's ability to represent stimuli improves as a function of time. Although it is true in other senses, few studies have examined whether increasing sampling time improves olfactory discrimination. In the experiments reported here,(More)
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is involved in the regulation of feeding and digestion in many animals from worms to mammals. In insects, 5-HT functions both as a neurotransmitter and as a systemic hormone. Here we tested its role as a neurotransmitter in feeding and crop contractions and its role as a systemic hormone that affected feeding in adult(More)
Naturally occurring odors used by animals for mate recognition, food identification and other purposes must be detected at concentrations that vary across several orders of magnitude. Olfactory systems must therefore have the capacity to represent odors over a large range of concentrations regardless of dramatic changes in the salience, or perceived(More)
Dietary sources of essential amino acids (EAAs) are used for growth, somatic maintenance and reproduction. Eusocial insect workers such as honeybees are sterile, and unlike other animals, their nutritional needs should be largely dictated by somatic demands that arise from their role within the colony. Here, we investigated the extent to which the dietary(More)
Animals use odors as signals for mate, kin, and food recognition, a strategy which appears ubiquitous and successful despite the high intrinsic variability of naturally-occurring odor quantities. Stimulus generalization, or the ability to decide that two objects, though readily distinguishable, are similar enough to afford the same consequence, could help(More)
Plants produce flowers with complex visual and olfactory signals, but we know relatively little about the way that signals such as floral scents have evolved. One important factor that may direct the evolution of floral signals is a pollinator's ability to learn. When animals learn to associate two similar signals with different outcomes, biases in their(More)
We develop a mechanistic mathematical model of the G-protein coupled signaling pathway responsible for generating current responses in frog olfactory receptor neurons. The model incorporates descriptions of ligand-receptor interaction, intracellular transduction events involving the second messenger cAMP, effector ion-channel activity, and calcium-mediated(More)
Cholinergic signaling is fundamental to neuromuscular function in most organisms. Sub-lethal doses of neurotoxic pesticides that target cholinergic signaling can alter the behavior of insects in subtle ways; their influence on non-target organisms may not be readily apparent in simple mortality studies. Beneficial arthropods such as honeybees perform(More)