Geraldine A. Wright

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Whether animals experience human-like emotions is controversial and of immense societal concern [1-3]. Because animals cannot provide subjective reports of how they feel, emotional state can only be inferred using physiological, cognitive, and behavioral measures [4-8]. In humans, negative feelings are reliably correlated with pessimistic cognitive biases,(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)
Pesticides that target cholinergic neurotransmission are highly effective, but their use has been implicated in insect pollinator population decline. Honeybees are exposed to two widely used classes of cholinergic pesticide: neonicotinoids (nicotinic receptor agonists) and organophosphate miticides (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors). Although sublethal(More)
Pesticides are important agricultural tools often used in combination to avoid resistance in target pest species, but there is growing concern that their widespread use contributes to the decline of pollinator populations. Pollinators perform sophisticated behaviours while foraging that require them to learn and remember floral traits associated with food,(More)
Ethanol consumption produces characteristic behavioral states in animals that include sedation, disorientation, and disruption of motor function. Using individual honey bees, we assessed the effects of ethanol ingestion on motor function via continuous observations of their behavior. Consumption of 1 M sucrose solutions containing a range of ethanol doses(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)
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)
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)
Plant defense compounds occur in floral nectar, but their ecological role is not well understood. We provide evidence that plant compounds pharmacologically alter pollinator behavior by enhancing their memory of reward. Honeybees rewarded with caffeine, which occurs naturally in nectar of Coffea and Citrus species, were three times as likely to remember a(More)
Locusts have two large collision-detecting neurons, the descending contralateral movement detectors (DCMDs) that signal object approach and trigger evasive glides during flight. We sought to investigate whether vision for action, when the locust is in an aroused state rather than a passive viewer, significantly alters visual processing in this(More)