Learn More
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)