Conditional withholding of proboscis extension in honeybees (Apis mellifera) during discriminative punishment.

Brian Smith, C. I. Abramson, T. R. Tobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proboscis extension conditioning of honeybee workers was used to test the ability of bees to respond to appetitive and aversive stimuli while restrained in a harness that allows subjects to move their antennae and mouthparts (Kuwabara, 1957; Menzel, Erber, & Masuhr, 1974). Subjects were conditioned to discriminate between two odors, one associated with sucrose feeding and the other associated with a 10 V AC shock if they responded to the sucrose unconditioned stimulus (US) in the context of that odor. Most Ss readily learned to respond to the odor followed by sucrose feeding and not to the odor associated with sucrose stimulation plus shock. Furthermore, in the context of the odor associated with shock, significantly more subjects withheld or delayed proboscis extension on stimulation with the sucrose US than they did in the context of the odor associated with feeding. Thus, restrained honeybees can readily learn to avoid shock according to an odor context by withholding proboscis extension to a normally powerful releaser. Analysis of individual learning curves revealed that subjects differed markedly in performance on this task. Some learn the discrimination quickly, whereas others show different kinds of response patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Conditional withholding of proboscis extension in honeybees (Apis mellifera) during discriminative punishment.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this