Latent inhibition (LI) in honeybees (Apis mellifera) was studied by using a proboscis extension response conditioning procedure. Individual queens, drones, and workers differed in the degree to which they revealed LI. The authors hypothesized that individual differences would have a substantial genetic basis. Two sets of progeny were established by crossing virgin queens and individual drones, both of which had been selected for differential expression of inhibition. LI was stronger in the progeny from the queens and drones that had shown greater inhibition. The expression of LI was also dependent on environmental factors that are most likely associated with age, foraging experience outside of the colony, or both. Furthermore, there was a correlated response in the speed at which progeny reversed a learned discrimination of 2 odors. These genetic analyses may reveal underlying mechanisms that these 2 learning paradigms have in common.
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