Martin Heisenberg

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Genetic intervention in the fly Drosophila melanogaster has provided strong evidence that the mushroom bodies of the insect brain act as the seat of a memory trace for odours. This localization gives the mushroom bodies a place in a network model of olfactory memory that is based on the functional anatomy of the olfactory system. In the model, complex odour(More)
The catecholamines play a major role in the regulation of behavior. Here we investigate, in the fly Drosophila melanogaster, the role of dopamine and octopamine (the presumed arthropod homolog of norepinephrine) during the formation of appetitive and aversive olfactory memories. We find that for the formation of both types of memories, cAMP signaling is(More)
Memories are thought to be due to lasting synaptic modifications in the brain. The search for memory traces has relied predominantly on determining regions that are necessary for the process. However, a more informative approach is to define the smallest sufficient set of brain structures. The rutabaga adenylyl cyclase, an enzyme that is ubiquitously(More)
On the basis of 1200 Golgi-impregnated brains the structure of the central complex of Drosophila melanogaster was analyzed at the cellular level. The four substructures of the central complex — the ellipsoid body, the fanshaped body, the noduli, and the protocerebral bridge — are composed of (a) columnar small-field elements linking different substructures(More)
Two Drosophila mutants are described in which the connections between the input to and the output from the mushroom bodies is largely interrupted. In all forms of the flies (larva, imago, male, female) showing the structural defect, olfactory conditioning is impaired. Learning is completely abolished when electroshock is used as reinforcement and partially(More)
The corpora pedunculata, or mushroom bodies (MBs), in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster adults consist of approximately 2500 parallel Kenyon cell fibers derived from four MB neuroblasts. Hydroxyurea fed to newly hatched larvae selectively deletes these cells, resulting in complete, precise MB albation. Adult flies developing without MBs behave normally(More)
The world is permanently changing. Laboratory experiments on learning and memory normally minimize this feature of reality, keeping all conditions except the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli as constant as possible. In the real world, however, animals need to extract from the universe of sensory signals the actual predictors of salient events by(More)
In order to elucidate the behavioral significance of the central complex (CC), we have examined walking in 15 Drosophila mutant strains belonging to eight independent X-linked genes that affect the structure of the CC. Compared to four different wild-type strains, all are impaired either in a general or in a paradigm-dependent manner. Behavioral deficits(More)
In the eye, visual information is segregated into modalities such as color and motion, these being transferred to the central brain through separate channels. Here, we genetically dissect the achromatic motion channel in the fly Drosophila melanogaster at the level of the first relay station in the brain, the lamina, where it is split into four parallel(More)
The fly Drosophila melanogaster can discriminate and remember visual landmarks. It analyses selected parts of its visual environment according to a small number of pattern parameters such as size, colour or contour orientation, and stores particular parameter values. Like humans, flies recognize patterns independently of the retinal position during(More)