HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
New study in moths shows insects not entirely ruled by instinct

COLUMBUS, Ohio By examining the brain activity of moths, researchers have found that the behavior of these insects isn't ruled entirely by instinct. Rather, they can learn which odors mean food.

The findings are more than academic: The researchers hope to develop methods for using trained moths to detect odors of interest for defense industry and law enforcement such as odors given off by biological and chemical weapons.

Animal behaviorists have historically argued that most insects have a programmed response to a variety of situations, such as knowing which odors signal the presence of food and mates.

But scientists are discovering that animals don't always instinctively know what to do. In these cases, they have to learn, said Kevin Daly, the study's lead author and a research scientist in entomology at Ohio State University.

He and his colleagues used tiny electrodes implanted in the heads of sphinx moths to continuously monitor the insect's neuronal activity and feeding behavior before, during and after training the animal that one odor meant food sugar water was on the way and another odor did not.

"We saw a dramatic restructuring of the neural networks that convert scent into a code that the rest of the brain can understand," Daly said. "The changes in this coding suggest that the moths learned to differentiate between an odor that meant food and an odor that didn't."

Understanding how moths detect and discriminate between scents could have wide-reaching applications. In related work, Daly and his colleagues are training moths and bees to detect odors from manufactured explosives.

"In principle, if we can understand how insects learn and distinguish between odors, we could 'train' these animals to recognize any detectable odor of interest," he said.

The findings currently appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The electrodes placed in the moths'
'"/>

Contact: Kevin Daly
Daly.40@osu.edu
Ohio State University
12-Jul-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Student science contest participation influences study, career choices, alumni say
2. New study shows hope for treating inhalant abuse
3. International study findings link acne-like rash to effectiveness of new targeted cancer treatment
4. Cigarette smoke causes breaks in DNA and defects to a cells chromosomes, Pitt study finds
5. New study indicates arsenic could be suitable as first-line treatment in type of leukaemia
6. Phase II trials of second-generation antisense cancer drug planned following successful early study
7. Preclinical safety study shows adipose-derived stem cells improve heart function after heart attack
8. Indiana University, EPA to study airborne PCBs
9. K-State, other universities to study how climate affects plant evolution
10. USC study links historical increases in life span to lower childhood exposure to infection
11. Washington University in St. Louis leads group studying aging process

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/20/2017)... -- PMD Healthcare announces the release of its new ... (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and management ... a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care Management ... solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare and ... the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which was ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... , March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the ... by The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support ... The Trust. The UK,s leading youth charity will be ... campaign results and get a better understanding of the topics and ... ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... -- Who risk to be deprived of its imprint ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4313699/ WILL APPLE AND SAMSUNG CONFRONT ... sensors using capacitive technology represent a fast growing market, ... an increase of 360% of the number of fingerprint ... sensor market between 2014 and 2017 (source : N+1 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/20/2017)... , ... March 20, 2017 , ... ... HEPARIN calibration verification / linearity test kit has received US FDA 510(k) clearance ... VALIDATE® HEPARIN kit evaluates Heparin Anti-Xa activity in a human plasma matrix. ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... NEW YORK , March 20, 2017  Attorney Advertising ... behalf of purchasers of the BioAmber Inc. ("BioAmber" or the "Company") ... obtain additional information and assist the investigation by visiting the ... concerns whether BioAmber and certain of its officers and/or directors ... Act of 1934. ...
(Date:3/19/2017)...  Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY ) ... Food and Drug Administration,s (FDA) Division of Oncology Products ... for the treatment of NRAS -mutant melanoma, a ... This action was based on thorough discussions and communications ... approval, and followed the late cycle review meeting held ...
(Date:3/18/2017)... , March 17, 2017  A new study ... who historically have been considered ineligible for curative ... reirradiation using intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) for lung ... patients were free from local recurrence at one ... ten patients experienced severe side effects. The study ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: