Chapter

The How and Why of Structural Plasticity in the Adult Honeybee Brain

Edited by Susan E. Fahrbach and Scott Dobrin

in Cognitive Ecology II

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226169354
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226169378 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226169378.003.0003
The How and Why of Structural Plasticity in the Adult Honeybee Brain

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The mechanistic research on animal learning and memory is typically conducted under the necessary controlled laboratory conditions using a few animal species whose ecology and behavior in the wild are not well known. A notable exception is the honeybee, Apis mellifera, which has been studied extensively in this chapter. The authors illustrate the honeybee as an ideal model system for integrating mechanistic knowledge on genes, neurons, and hormones with whole-animal information on behavior and ecology. Though the chapter focuses on studies of the honeybee, experience-dependent brain plasticity is not a rare phenomenon. A behavioral neuroscientist can be confident that it is happening in the animal model. Association of the experience-dependent changes in brain structure to their functional consequences is important because doing so will provide an insight into a powerful source of individual (experience-dependent) differences in animal behavior.

Keywords: plasticity; honeybee; brain; Apis mellifera; genes; experience-dependent changes

Chapter.  8535 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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