118 | Separate neural tracts encode appetitive and aversive olfactory information in honey bees

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Agustin Eleazar Lara | Email: agustin.e.lara@hotmail.com

Agustin Eleazar Lara , Emiliano Marachlian , Martin Klappenbach , Fernando Locatelli

1° Instituto de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIByNE-UBA-CONICET)
2° Institut de Biologie de l´Ecole Normale Superieure – Paris, France

A salient feature of insects and vertebrate olfactory circuits is the existence of multiple neural tracts that form parallel pathways between periphery and higher brain centers. This aspect has sparked the interest of functional and computational approaches that ask whether the different tracts convey redundant or different information. We investigate the role of the two main olfactory tracts described in the honey bee brain and called the lateral and the medial tracts. In previous studies we measured odor representation in the lateral tract and found that appetitive but not aversive learning increases the representation of the conditioned odor. Also, we found that bees can recognize the presence of appetitive and aversive learned odors when both are in a mixture, which suggests that these odors are processed in parallel and without getting mixed. These lead as to postulate that information about aversive and appetitive odors might be split in the antennal lobe. To address this, we performed experiments based on appetitive and aversive learning, and found that lesions of the medial tract do not impair the conditioned response elicited by appetitive learned odors while lesions of the lateral tract do. On the contrary, lesions of the lateral tract do not impair conditioned response elicited by aversive learned odors while lesions the medial tract do. Next, we will perform calcium imaging to evaluate whether appetitive and aversive odors are differentially encoded by both tracts