HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researchers identify neurons that assign value during learning

By using an experimental trick to activate certain sets of neurons and effectively substitute activation of these cells for positive or negative experiences, researchers have been able to identify neurons in the fruit fly Drosophila that are responsible for assigning value to stimuli during so-called associative learning. The findings, which advance our understanding of how, at the cellular level, we learn to associate cues with positive and negative experiences, are reported by Andre Fiala and colleagues at the University of Wrzburg in Germany and appear in the September 5th issue of Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

During associative learning, animals learn to change their behavior in response to a particular stimulus that would otherwise have a neutral influence on behavior. For example, if an animal such as a fruit fly learns to associate a particular odor with a punishing stimulus, the odor itself can become repulsive. Conversely, an odor associated with a reward can become attractive. Despite its relatively modest brain complexity, the fruit fly larva is able to perform such associative-learning tasks. Because of its neuronal simplicity and the fact that it can be genetically manipulated, the fruit fly offers a favorable study case to address a principal question in the field of learning and behavior: Which neurons attribute attractive or aversive values to so-called neutral stimuli, such as odors, in the course of associative learning?

Past work had indicated that certain neurotransmitters played key roles in assigning attractive or aversive values to neutral stimuli--for example, neurons expressing dopamine are required for aversive learning, whereas neurons expressing another neurotransmitter, octopamine, are required for appetitive learning (association of a stimulus with a reward). However, it was unclear whether a common set of neurons were responsible, or whether attractive and aversive values were assigned to neutral st
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
5-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
2. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
3. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
4. Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
5. Researchers discover human embryonic stem cells are the ultimate perpetual fuel cell
6. Researchers use new approach to predict protein function
7. Researchers probe risks, benefits of folic acid fortification
8. Researchers identify genetic mutation that may alter tumor cell proliferation
9. Researchers discover method for identifying how cancer evades the immune system
10. Researchers use adult stem cells to create soft tissue
11. Researchers find gene that spurs development of the epididymis

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


(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... Aesthetics Biomedical (ABM), a ... awards for not only the products and treatments developed, but also the dedicated ... RF. All the brands built by ABM have received several honors already for ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 02, 2020 , ... ... publication detailing the use of its revolutionary NEXTGENPCR endpoint thermocycler to test ... 16 minutes. The article, titled "Ultra-fast one-step RT-PCR protocol for the detection ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... awareness and solutions for glioblastoma—the most common and aggressive adult brain cancer—announced today ... JD, PhD. Senior Fellows are charged with supporting the organization’s initiatives and overall ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... 29, 2020 , ... DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences announced today ... new plant operation will provide the local animal production industry with customized solutions ... will improve the flexibility of our offerings to the Chinese animal nutrition market,” ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 11, ... ... a biopharmaceutical cold chain validation engineering firm, is making available for free ... the need to incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics licensing ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... 03, 2020 , ... Introducing Ardent Animal Health – MediVet Biologics rebrands company ... Known as MediVet Biologics since its formation in 2016, the company is relaunching ... Health will build on its base of innovative therapies for osteoarthritis and cancer. ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... can combine up to three different materials for use with CRM, neurostimulation, vascular, ... to three materials to meet specific design requirements, performance, and cost criteria; especially ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: