A Review of the Behavior and Biochemistry of dunce, a Mutation of Learning in Drosophila

  • Duncan Byers
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 16)


When it became apparent in the late nineteenth century that the accumulated experience of an adult animal does not pass to its progeny through the germ cells, biologists took up the problem of how animals learn from experience. The work of C.L. Morgan, E.L. Thorndike, I.P. Pavlov and others revealed that much of learning appears to occur by the formation and strengthening of connections between external situations and the behavior of the animal. The strength of the connections is primarily under the control of certain biologically significant stimuli, including heat, cold, food, water, pinches, bites, poisons, sour or bitter tastes, and related agents. Collectively these are termed reinforcers or rewards. To understand learning further, one wishes to know what neural and molecular changes occur during learning, how reinforcement brings these changes about, and how nerve cells use these changes for generating changed behavior.


Associative Learning Bitter Taste Learn Mutant Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase Olfactory Learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan Byers
    • 1
  1. 1.European Molecular Biology LaboratoryHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany

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