Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 25–45 | Cite as

Short-range memory inTenebrio molitor larvae

  • R. Pierantoni
  • A. Dassori
  • C. Mariotti


Mechanical and visual stimulation lasting for fractions of seconds to few seconds induce inTenebrio molitor at larval stage coordinate motor responses. Such movements are oscillatory in nature, their frequency is about 0.1 Hz and this value is largely independent from the intensity of the stimulus, their amplitude is proportional to it.

About 50s after the cessation of the stimulus the oscillations tend to fade away. During the oscillatory behaviour the thorax plays an active role in contrast with the more passive abdomen.

These motor responses can be elicited by different stimulation; visual and mechanical, only visual, only mechanical, and are still present in an experimental contest in which both light and mechanical stimuli are absent. The ability of the larva ofTenebrio to play a coordinate motor program lasting for a noticeable time enables it in maintaining a coherent exploratory strategy in total absence of visual and mechanical inputs.

The importance of such oscillatory responses has been analyzed in the general contest of the correcting behaviour. Its biological significance resides presumably in a deep “cooperation” between the central nervous system and the motor machinery in setting up a memory process or in recalling recent experiences.


Active Role Larval Stage Recent Experience Biological Significance Motor Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Pierantoni
    • 1
  • A. Dassori
    • 1
  • C. Mariotti
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio di Cibernetica e Biofisica del CNRCamogliItaly

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