Document Detail

Learning and memory in Rhodnius prolixus: habituation and aversive operant conditioning of the proboscis extension response.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23408803     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
It has been largely accepted that the cognitive abilities of disease vector insects may have drastic consequences on parasite transmission. However, despite the research effort that has been invested in the study of learning and memory in haematophagous insects, hitherto few conclusive results have been obtained. Adapting procedures largely validated in Drosophila, honeybees and butterflies, we demonstrate here that the proboscis extension response (PER) of the haematophagous insect Rhodnius prolixus can be modulated by non-associative (habituation) and associative (aversive conditioning) learning forms. Thermal stimuli were used as both unconditional stimulus (appetitive temperatures) and negative reinforcement (thermal shock). In the first part of this work, the PER was habituated and dishabituated to thermal stimuli, demonstrating the true central processing of information and discarding motor fatigue or sensory adaptation. Habituation was revealed to be modulated by the spatial context. In the second part, bugs that were submitted to aversive operant conditioning stopped responding with PER to thermal stimulation more quickly than by habituation. They were able to use their training experience when tested up to 72 h later. Our work constitutes the first demonstration of PER habituation and conditioning in a blood-sucking insect and provides reproducible experimental tools for the study of the mechanisms underlying learning and memory in disease vectors.
Clément Vinauger; Hélène Lallement; Claudio R Lazzari
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  216     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-02-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  892-900     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR CNRS 7261 - Université François Rabelais, 37200 Tours, France.
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