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The effects of biogenic amines on conditioned and unconditioned responses to olfactory stimuli in the honeybeeApis mellifera

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  1. 1.

    Biogenic amines are injected directly into the bee brain in the region of the thick ocellar neurones, and their effects are studied using the proboscis conditioning paradigm.

  2. 2.

    Responsiveness to unconditioned olfactory stimuli is enhanced by the phenolamine octopamine, but is not modified by the monoamines dopamine and serotonin.

  3. 3.

    Dopamine and serotonin reduce the percentage of bees responding to a conditioned stimulus. The reduction occurs regardless of whether the amine is injected before or after single trial conditioning.

  4. 4.

    The effects of dopamine are time dependent. After 60 min, responses initially reduced by dopamine, return to a level similar to that observed in control groups treated with Ringer solution.

  5. 5.

    Dopamine does not effect the storage processes involved in learning, but inhibits information retrieval. The effects of serotonin are similar to, but less potent than those of dopamine. Octopamine has no negative influence on storage or retrieval of information, but enhances responsiveness to olfactory stimuli.

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Supported by DFG grant Me 365/8

Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow

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Mercer, A.R., Menzel, R. The effects of biogenic amines on conditioned and unconditioned responses to olfactory stimuli in the honeybeeApis mellifera . J. Comp. Physiol. 145, 363–368 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00619340

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  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin
  • Conditioned Stimulus
  • Monoamine
  • Information Retrieval