Impaired tactile learning is related to social role in honeybees

Ricarda Scheiner, Gro Amdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aging is commonly accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In social insects, aging is tightly linked to social role. The honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) offers the unique opportunity to separate chronological age from social role. In the present paper, we tested whether chronological age, social role and the duration of performing this role affect tactile learning in honeybees. We compared acquisition, retention and discrimination between foragers with short and long foraging durations and age-matched nurse bees. Our data show that chronological age is of minor importance for tactile learning, retention and discrimination whereas social role has a decisive impact. Tactile acquisition is severely impaired in bees that have foraged for more than two weeks but not in nurse bees of the same chronological age. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor retention appear to be impaired by long foraging duration. The complex associations between acquisition, discrimination and retention in bees of different social roles open up rich possibilities for future studies on the neuronal correlates of behavioural performance and underline that the honeybee has great potential as a model system in the biology of aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1002
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume212
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

Fingerprint

honeybee
Bees
Touch
honey bees
learning
bee
Learning
Apoidea
nurses
duration
Nurses
foraging
Discrimination Learning
social insect
Systems Biology
social insects
Apis mellifera
cognition
Cognition
Insects

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Discrimination
  • Division of labour
  • PER
  • Retention
  • Tactile conditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Insect Science
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Impaired tactile learning is related to social role in honeybees. / Scheiner, Ricarda; Amdam, Gro.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 212, No. 7, 01.04.2009, p. 994-1002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{64044f95630c483ab40558e0522d2e48,
title = "Impaired tactile learning is related to social role in honeybees",
abstract = "Aging is commonly accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In social insects, aging is tightly linked to social role. The honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) offers the unique opportunity to separate chronological age from social role. In the present paper, we tested whether chronological age, social role and the duration of performing this role affect tactile learning in honeybees. We compared acquisition, retention and discrimination between foragers with short and long foraging durations and age-matched nurse bees. Our data show that chronological age is of minor importance for tactile learning, retention and discrimination whereas social role has a decisive impact. Tactile acquisition is severely impaired in bees that have foraged for more than two weeks but not in nurse bees of the same chronological age. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor retention appear to be impaired by long foraging duration. The complex associations between acquisition, discrimination and retention in bees of different social roles open up rich possibilities for future studies on the neuronal correlates of behavioural performance and underline that the honeybee has great potential as a model system in the biology of aging.",
keywords = "Aging, Discrimination, Division of labour, PER, Retention, Tactile conditioning",
author = "Ricarda Scheiner and Gro Amdam",
year = "2009",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1242/jeb.021188",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "212",
pages = "994--1002",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Biology",
issn = "0022-0949",
publisher = "Company of Biologists Ltd",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Impaired tactile learning is related to social role in honeybees

AU - Scheiner, Ricarda

AU - Amdam, Gro

PY - 2009/4/1

Y1 - 2009/4/1

N2 - Aging is commonly accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In social insects, aging is tightly linked to social role. The honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) offers the unique opportunity to separate chronological age from social role. In the present paper, we tested whether chronological age, social role and the duration of performing this role affect tactile learning in honeybees. We compared acquisition, retention and discrimination between foragers with short and long foraging durations and age-matched nurse bees. Our data show that chronological age is of minor importance for tactile learning, retention and discrimination whereas social role has a decisive impact. Tactile acquisition is severely impaired in bees that have foraged for more than two weeks but not in nurse bees of the same chronological age. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor retention appear to be impaired by long foraging duration. The complex associations between acquisition, discrimination and retention in bees of different social roles open up rich possibilities for future studies on the neuronal correlates of behavioural performance and underline that the honeybee has great potential as a model system in the biology of aging.

AB - Aging is commonly accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In social insects, aging is tightly linked to social role. The honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) offers the unique opportunity to separate chronological age from social role. In the present paper, we tested whether chronological age, social role and the duration of performing this role affect tactile learning in honeybees. We compared acquisition, retention and discrimination between foragers with short and long foraging durations and age-matched nurse bees. Our data show that chronological age is of minor importance for tactile learning, retention and discrimination whereas social role has a decisive impact. Tactile acquisition is severely impaired in bees that have foraged for more than two weeks but not in nurse bees of the same chronological age. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor retention appear to be impaired by long foraging duration. The complex associations between acquisition, discrimination and retention in bees of different social roles open up rich possibilities for future studies on the neuronal correlates of behavioural performance and underline that the honeybee has great potential as a model system in the biology of aging.

KW - Aging

KW - Discrimination

KW - Division of labour

KW - PER

KW - Retention

KW - Tactile conditioning

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=63849126920&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=63849126920&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1242/jeb.021188

DO - 10.1242/jeb.021188

M3 - Article

VL - 212

SP - 994

EP - 1002

JO - Journal of Experimental Biology

JF - Journal of Experimental Biology

SN - 0022-0949

IS - 7

ER -