Experience-Dependent Plasticity in Insects

Martin Giurfa

Jean-marc Devaud

05 61 55 67 33

05 61 55 67 62

Team members

  Research engineer
  • Gabriela De brito sanchez
  • Isabelle Massou
  • Jean-marc Devaud
  • Martin Giurfa
  Researcher  Associate professor
  • Catherine Armengaud
  • Guillaume Isabel
  Technical staff
  • Lucie Hotier
  • Alice Rouzes
  Postdoctoral fellow
  • Tamara Gomez
  • Sebastian Schwarz
  • Laure-anne Poissonnier
  • Marco Paoli
  PhD student
  • Mathilde Lacombrade
  • Florent Le moel
  • Matthias Durrieu
  • Louise Bestea
  • Thibault Dubois
  • Haiyang Geng
  • Stephane Kraus
  • Mathieu Kunetz
  • Gregory Lafon
  • Coline Monchanin
  • Leo Clement
  Master student
  • Doriane Saurel
  • Angele Rolland
  • Erwan Tilly
  • Lauryn Martin
  • Martin Dessart
  • Laure Dubernat
  • Catherine Macri
  • Sylvie Letot
  • Mathilde Bretaudeau
  • Natacha Perez
  • Blandine Mahot-castaing
  • Carolanne Van belleghem
  • Mathilde Riquet


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.



BEE-MATURATION: Individual experience and plasticity

ERC Starting Grant EMERG-ANT: Ant Navigation in Natural Habitats

MOLECULTURE: Multiscale study of social learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster: from genes to animal culture

APITASTE: Taste Perception and Modulation in a Miniature Brain

Molecular and neural mechanisms of appetitive and aversive memories

BEE NUMBER: The Biological Bases of Bee Numerosity

ERC Advanced Grant COGNIBRAINS: Cognition in an Insect Brain


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