Thinking crickets -- 'cognitive' processes underlie memory recall in crickets

Aug 04, 2009

Activation of two different kinds of neurons is necessary for appetitive and aversive memory recall in crickets. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology blocked octopaminergic (OA-ergic) and dopaminergic (DA-ergic) transmission and found that this resulted in the inability to recall pleasant and unpleasant memories, respectively.

Makoto Mizunami (now at Hokkaido University, Japan) led a team of researchers from Tohoku University, Japan, who carried out the tests. He said, "This is the first study to suggest that classical conditioning in involves neural mediation between an originally neutral stimulus and a pleasant or unpleasant stimulus and the activation of these neural responses for memory recall. Such neural responses are often called cognitive processes in classical conditioning in higher vertebrates".

Mizunami and his colleagues previously reported that, in crickets, OA-ergic and DA-ergic neurons convey signals about reward and risk, respectively. In this report, they found that blockers of synaptic transmission from OA-ergic and DA-ergic neurons prevented the insects from recalling which stimuli were related to the reward, and, therefore, could be approached, and which stimuli were related to the risk, so should be avoided. According to Mizunami, "These findings are not consistent with conventional neural models of classical conditioning in insects. Instead, we suggest that the cognitive account of classical conditioning proposed for higher vertebrates is applicable to insects".

More information: Roles of octopaminergic and dopaminergic neurons in appetitive and aversive in an insect, Makoto Mizunami, Sae Unoki, Yasuhiro Mori, Daisuke Hirashima, Ai Hatano and Yukihisa Matsumoto, BMC Biology (in press), http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbiol/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Two new species of yellow-shouldered bats endemic to the Neotropics

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Making 'Pavlov's Cockroach'

Feb 05, 2006

In an experiment that made him a household name, the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov a century ago got dogs used to hearing a bell every time they were fed. The dogs soon started drooling whenever they heard ...

How the brain handles surprise, good and bad

Sep 19, 2007

Whether it’s a mugger or a friend who jumps out of the bushes, you’re still surprised. But your response—to flee or to hug—must be very different. Now, researchers have begun to distinguish the circuitry in the brain’s ...

Larvae shun the light

Jun 22, 2009

Drosophila larvae avoid light during the foraging stage of their development. Research published in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience shows that both 5-HT (serotonergic) and corazonergic neurons have a role in reg ...

Recommended for you

Offspring benefit from mum sending the right message

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers have uncovered a previously unforeseen interaction between the sexes which reveals that offspring survival is affected by chemical signals emitted from the females' eggs.

Lemurs match scent of a friend to sound of her voice

22 hours ago

Humans aren't alone in their ability to match a voice to a face—animals such as dogs, horses, crows and monkeys are able to recognize familiar individuals this way too, a growing body of research shows.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.