Experience-Dependent Plasticity in Insects
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- Aurore AVARGUES-WEBER
- Guy BEUGNON
- Mathieu LIHOREAU
- Antoine WYSTRACH
- Catherine ARMENGAUD
- Patrizia D'ETTORRE
- Monique GAUTHIER
- Guillaume ISABEL
- Gabriela DE BRITO SANCHEZ
- Lucie HOTIER
- Manon MARQUE
- Isabelle MASSOU
- David BARACCHI
- Tamara GOMEZ
- Cristian PASQUARETTA
- Patrick SCHULTHEISS
- Maria Eugenia VILLAR
- Alexis BUATOIS
- Amélie CABIROL
- Simon KLEIN
- Paul MARCHAL
- Aurélie MURIA
- Natacha ROSSI
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.
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