Experience-Dependent Plasticity in Insects


Jean-Marc DEVAUD

05 61 55 67 33

05 61 55 67 62

Team members

  • Mathieu LIHOREAU
  • Antoine WYSTRACH
  • Catherine ARMENGAUD
  • Patrizia D'ETTORRE
  • Guillaume ISABEL
  Technical staff
  • Lucie HOTIER
  • Manon MARQUE
  • Isabelle MASSOU
  • Tamara GOMEZ
  • Cristian PASQUARETTA
  • Solenn PATALANO
  • Sebastian SCHWARZ
  • Maria Eugenia VILLAR
  • Alexis BUATOIS
  • Alexandre DORE
  • Matthias DURRIEU
  • Simon KLEIN
  • Florent Le MOEL
  • 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.



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


  • Eirik Søvik, Jenny A. Plath, Jean-Marc Devaud, Andrew B. Barron .
    Neuropharmacological manipulation of restrained and free-flying honey bees , Apis mellifera
    Journal of Visualized Experiments 117; doi: 10.3791/54695
    2016 Dec
  • Antoine Wystrach*, Konstantinos Lagogiannis, Barbara Webb.
    Continuous lateral oscillations as a core mechanism for taxis in Drosophila larvae
    eLife 2016;5:e15504
    2016 Dec
  • Lihoreau M*, Charleston MA, Senior AM, Clissold FJ, Raubenheimer D, Simpson SJ, Buhl J.
    Collective foraging in spatially complex nutritional environments
    Philosophical Transactions B
    2016 Dec
  • Lihoreau M*, Pasquaretta C*, Heeb P. .
    Commentary: Do bees play the producer-scrounger game?
    Frontiers in Psychology. 7:1355.
    2016 Sep
  • Bouchebti S*, Durier V, Pasquaretta C*, Rivault C, Lihoreau M*.
    Subsocial cockroaches Nauphoeta cinerea mate indiscriminately with kin despite high costs of inbreeding.
    Plos One
    2016 Sep

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