089 | Peripheral plasticity leads to memories of varying strength based on past experiences

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Anahí Charalambous | Email: anahichara4@gmail.com

Anahí Charalambous , Milagros Azcueta , Federico Gascue , Fernando Locatelli , Martín Klappenbach

1° Laboratorio de Fisiología y Plasticidad Sensorial, IFIBYNE-CONICET, FCEN-UBA

During foraging, honey bees Apis mellifera are capable of assessing food quality. Flowers encountered in nature can differ in several aspecst being sucrose concentration and nectar quantity the most significant for bees. Choosing the optimal food sources requires assessing and comparing these traits.
Recent studies conducted in our laboratory have demonstrated that bees can stabilize stronger associative memories when the unconditioned stimulus exceeds the expectations. Accordingly, honey bees whose expectations of reward are frustrated show weaker memory retention than those who receive the same reward that they expected. Our current objective is to elucidate the mechanism responsible for this modulation in memory strength.
Here, we observed that bees form short-term memory faster when their expectation of the unconditioned stimulus is exceeded. On the other hand, the group whose expectation was frustrated learned slower. These results reveal that without a memory consolidation process, there is differential learning performance among the different groups. This could be attributed to the differential sensitivity of receptors, leading to the formation of distinct short-term memories in the different groups. Therefore, we are conducting eleactroantennogram recordings to test how peripheral plasticity contributes to memory capacities.