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Cognitive Ecology II$
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Reuven Dukas and John M. Ratcliffe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226169354

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226169378.001.0001

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

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

(p.27) 3 The How and Why of Structural Plasticity in the Adult Honeybee Brain
Cognitive Ecology II
Susan E. Fahrbach, Scott Dobrin
University of Chicago Press

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

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