Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cracking The Olfactory Code In Bees

Date:
March 10, 2005
Source:
Public Library Of Science
Summary:
Tastes and smells are evocative and play a crucial role in finding food for many animals. A new study of smell perception in honeybees published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology now explains how bees react to a suite of scents, and reveals an olfactory map that shows remarkable correspondence to brain activity.

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera).
Credit: Photo courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute

Tastes and smells are evocative and play a crucial role in finding food for many animals. A new study of smell perception in honeybees published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology now explains how bees react to a suite of scents, and reveals an olfactory map that shows remarkable correspondence to brain activity.

The researchers, led by Martin Giurfa, first trained thousands of bees to associate a specific chemical, such as the alcohol 1-nonanol, with a sucrose reward. Then the researchers tested the bees' response to a set of different smells, varying in chemical composition. By watching how often the bees responded positively to a particular scent when they'd been trained on another, the researchers could assign perceptual "distances" between pairs of chemicals. Drawing together all these distances, they created a preliminary map of the bees' "perceptual space," similar to how surveyors measure distances between landmarks to map a landscape. From this comparison they found, for example, that the bees generalized more by functional group than by carbon-chain length.

Previously, another group had recorded bees' brain responses to the same pairs of scents, assigning distances within centers of activity for each scent. Giurfa's team compared these two sets of data and found that the perceptual and neural distances correlated well, which suggests there's a species-specific code that ties together the insects' brain and behavior. Future studies should only improve our ability to investigate the correlations between brain and behavior, the authors say. Such studies would go even further toward cracking the codes underlying animals' perception and memory.

###

Citation: Guerrieri F, Schubert M, Sandoz J-C, Giurfa M (2005) Perceptual and neural olfactory similarity in honeybees. PLoS Biol 3(4): e60.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library Of Science. "Cracking The Olfactory Code In Bees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223164123.htm>.
Public Library Of Science. (2005, March 10). Cracking The Olfactory Code In Bees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223164123.htm
Public Library Of Science. "Cracking The Olfactory Code In Bees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223164123.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins