Chapter

Neurobiology of olfactory communication in the honeybee

Maria Gabriela de Brito-Sanchez, Nina Deisig, Jean-Christophe Sandoz and Martin Giurfa

in Sociobiology of Communication

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216840
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712043 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216840.003.0007
 Neurobiology of olfactory communication in the honeybee

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Pheromones are chemical substances mediating intraspecific communication in a variety of behavioural contexts. Honeybees constitute a historic model for the study of pheromonal communication in insects so that much is known about the chemical structure of various pheromones, the context in which they are released, and the physiological effects they can exert on receiver bees of different castes. This chapter discusses the neurobiology of pheromone processing in the honeybee brain, from peripheral antennal detection, to central-level processing. It looks at modern electro- and opto-physiological recording techniques at different stages of the honeybee olfactory circuit and asks whether or not the traditional distinction between labeled-line and across-fiber pattern processing applies to pheromone processing as compared to non-pheromonal odors. Finally, new research avenues for stimulating future work in this area are proposed.

Keywords: olfaction; pheromones; labelled line; across-fiber pattern; social insects

Chapter.  11485 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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