Parasitic wasps remember better if reward is greater

Aug 22, 2012
Kruidhof HM, Pashalidou FG, Fatouros NE, Figueroa IA, Vet LEM, et al. (2012) Reward Value Determines Memory Consolidation in Parasitic Wasps. Credit: PLoS ONE 7(8): e39615. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039615

Two parasitic wasp species show similar memory consolidation patterns in response to rewards of different quality, providing evidence that the reward value affects the type of memory that is consolidated. The full results are reported Aug. 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

The researchers, led by Marjolein Kruidhof of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, tested how wasps store scents associated with situations of low reward (egg-laying into a inferior-quality host species that lays single eggs) versus high reward (egg-laying into a superior-quality host species that lays egg clusters) in their brain.

They found that both behaved similarly, retaining memory for the scent associated with the high reward scenario to a greater extent compared to the low reward scenario.

They write that this behavior makes sense given the energetic cost of consolidating shorter-lasting memory forms into long-term, consolidated memories, which may only be advantageous if the benefit is sufficiently high.

Explore further: Green spaces don't ensure biodiversity in urban areas

More information: Kruidhof HM, Pashalidou FG, Fatouros NE, Figueroa IA, Vet LEM, et al. (2012) Reward Value Determines Memory Consolidation in Parasitic Wasps. PLoS ONE 7(8): e39615. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039615

Related Stories

Insects learn faster when they are rewarded with nectar

Aug 01, 2012

Butterflies learn faster when a flower is rewarding than when it is not, and females have the edge over males when it comes to speed of learning with rewards. These are the findings of a new study, by Dr. Ikuo Kandori and ...

Ant queens lay more eggs as they age

Apr 11, 2012

Ant queens get better at laying eggs as they get older, researchers report in the Apr. 11 issue of the open access journal PLoS ONE. Furthermore, this high egg-laying rate did not shorten the queens' life spans, as would ...

Wood ant queen has no egg-laying monopoly

Jun 28, 2007

The reproductive monopoly of the ant queen is not as strong as is often thought. Dr. Heikki Helanterä and Prof. Lotta Sundström, biologists working at the University of Helsinki, Finland, investigated worker ovary development ...

Recommended for you

'Divide and rule'—raven politics

11 hours ago

Mythology has attributed many supernatural features to ravens. Studies on the cognitive abilities of ravens have indeed revealed that they are exceptionally intelligent. Ravens live in complex social groups ...

Science casts light on sex in the orchard

Oct 30, 2014

Persimmons are among the small club of plants with separate sexes—individual trees are either male or female. Now scientists at the University of California, Davis, and Kyoto University in Japan have discovered ...

Four new dragon millipedes found in China

Oct 30, 2014

A team of speleobiologists from the South China Agriculture University and the Russian Academy of Sciences have described four new species of the dragon millipedes from southern China, two of which seem to ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.