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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)|
|State||Published - Dec 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Psychology (miscellaneous)