The molecular signalling processes underlying olfactory learning and memory formation in honeybees
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The honeybee Apis mellifera provides the opportunity to study molecular signalling processes underlying olfactory learning and memory formation in intact animals. Applying innovative techniques to monitor and manipulate signalling processes in vivo during learning led to the identification of dynamic signalling events that contribute to different facets of olfactory learning and memory formation. these techniques opened novel insights into how different training strengths change the dynamics of individual molecular signalling processes, resulting in the induction and maintenance of distinct memory phases. To date, the major contributors were believed to be the mushroom bodies, as shown in Drosophila. This in vivo work now adds the insight that processes localised in the antennal lobes also contribute considerably to the memory processes. In addition, it shows that the effects of satiation on appetitive learning and memory is most likely mediated by so far unidentified molecular signalling pathways, as the aforementioned evolutionarily conserved and well-known pathways are only partially involved.