Early olfactory, but not gustatory processing, is affected by the selection of heritable cognitive phenotypes in honey bee

Meghan M. Bennett, Chelsea N. Cook, Brian H. Smith, Hong Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Associative learning enables animals to predict rewards or punishments by their associations with predictive stimuli, while non-associative learning occurs without reinforcement. The latter includes latent inhibition (LI), whereby animals learn to ignore an inconsequential ‘familiar’ stimulus. Individual honey bees display heritable differences in expression of LI. We examined the behavioral and neuronal responses between honey bee genetic lines exhibiting high and low LI. We observed, as in previous studies, that high LI lines learned a familiar odor more slowly than low LI bees. By measuring gustatory responses to sucrose, we determined that perception of sucrose reward was similar between both lines, thereby not contributing to the LI phenotype. We then used extracellular electrophysiology to determine differences in neural responses of the antennal lobe (AL) to familiar and novel odors between the lines. Low LI bees responded significantly more strongly to both familiar and novel odors than the high LI bees, but the lines showed equivalent differences in response to the novel and familiar odors. This work suggests that some effects of genotype are present in early olfactory processing, and those effects could complement how LI is manifested at later stages of processing in brains of bees in the different lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume207
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Antennal lobe
  • Apis mellifera
  • Extracellular recording
  • Latent inhibition
  • Proboscis extension reflex (PER)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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