Experience-Dependent Plasticity in Insects


Jean-Marc DEVAUD

Professeur - Université Toulouse III
05 61 55 67 33

Maitre de Conférences - Université Toulouse III
05 61 55 67 62

Team members

  Researcher  Professor
  • Catherine ARMENGAUD
  • Patrizia D'ETTORRE
  • Guillaume ISABEL
  Technical staff
  • Lucie HOTIER
  • Manon MARQUE
  • Isabelle MASSOU
  • Tamara GOMEZ
  • Scarlett HOWARD
  • Cristian PASQUARETTA
  • Solenn PATALANO
  • Sebastian SCHWARZ
  • Louise BESTEA
  • Alexandre DORE
  • Thibault DUBOIS
  • Matthias DURRIEU
  • Stéphane KRAUS
  • Gregory LAFON
  • Florent Le MOEL
  • Paul MARCHAL
  • Coline MONCHANIN
  • Aurélie MURIA


The objective of our team is the integrative study of experience-dependent plasticity in insects, with a particular focus on cognitive functions, such as visual and olfactory learning and memory. Three model species (honeybee, bumblebee, Drosophila), for which detailed descriptions of brain anatomy and genome are now available, are used to explore behavioral plasticity in ecologically relevant tasks and to track down their genetic, molecular and neural mechanisms bases. The comparative analysis between species exhibiting various levels of social complexities provides a unique opportunity to consider experience-dependent plasticity in a social context.

Our multidisciplinary approach is poised at the interface between experimental psychology, neurobiology, molecular biology, behavioral genetics and cognitive ecology. We use state-of the-art techniques spanning from behavioral observations of free-flying bees foraging on computer-controlled flowers, to the conditioning of harnessed individuals presented with tightly controlled stimuli, the identification of neural circuits involved in memory formation using transgenes, and the detailed tracking of neurotransmission processes in targeted brain structures.



Social modulation of learning and memory

Plasticity in gustatory networks and responses

impact of stress and pesticides

Molecular and neural mechanisms of appetitive and aversive memories

Neural signaling and memory processes : roles of cholinergic and GluCl-based neurotransmission

Neural bases of elemental and non-elemental learning

Mechanisms of visual cognition


  • Morimoto J, Lihoreau M.
    A vector-based approach to measure nutritional trade-offs within and between species.
    American Naturalist
    2018 Dec in press
  • Etienne Danchin, Sabine Nöbel, Arnaud Pocheville, Anne-Cecile Dagaeff, Léa Demay, Mathilde Alphand, Sarah Ranty-Roby, Lara van Renssen, Magdalena Monier, Eva Gazagne, Mélanie Allain, Guillaume Isabel.
    Cultural flies: Conformist social learning in fruitflies predicts long-lasting mate-choice traditions
    2018 Nov Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 1025-1030, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1590.
  • Pasquaretta C, Gómez-Moracho T, Heeb P, Lihoreau M  .
    Exploring interactions between the gut microbiota and social behaviour through nutrition
    Genes 9:534
    2018 Oct
  • Cauchoix M, Chow PKY, van Horik JO, Atance CM, Barbeau EJ, Barragan-Jason G, Bize P, Boussard A, Buechel SD, Cabirol A, Cauchard L, Claidière N, Dalesman S, Devaud JM, Didic M, Doligez B, Fagot J, Fichtel C, Henke-von der Malsburg J, Hermer E, Huber L, Huebner F, Kappeler PM, Klein S, Langbein J, Langley EJG, Lea SEG, Lihoreau M, Lovlie H, Matzel LD, Nakagawa S, Nawroth C, Oesterwind S, Sauce B, Smith E, Sorato E, Tebbich S, Wallis LJ, Whiteside MA, Wilkinson A, Chaine AS, Morand-Ferrond J. .
    The repeatability of cognitive performance: a meta-analysis
    Philosophical Transactions B
    2018 Sep 373:20170281
  • Nöbel, S., Allain, M., Isabel, G., & Danchin, E..
    Mate copying in Drosophila melanogaster males
    Animal Behaviour
    2018 Sep 141:9-15.

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