Interchangeable Punishments During Aversive Conditioning in Drosophila

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Robinson, Brooks G.
Khurana, Sukant
Nguyen, Andrew
Chuang, Tammy
Young, Melvin
Yu, Jun
Hooten, Jeff
Atkinson, Nigel S.

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Using Drosophila melanogaster larvae we asked whether distinct aversive stimuli have a common neural representation during associative learning. We tested the interchangeability of heat shock and electroshock punishments when used within a single olfactory associative conditioning experiment. We find that compared to animals trained with the repetitive use of a single punishment, the use of two alternating punishments results in similar associative learning. Additionally, the two punishments are shown to have different sensory origins. Therefore, while punishments are processed differently by the larvae of Drosophila melanogaster, the value of the stimulus is preserved.


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Robinson, Brooks G., Sukant Khurana, Andrew Nguyen, Tammy Chuang, Melvin Young, Jun Yu, Jeff Hooten, and Nigel S. Atkinson. "Interchangeable punishments during aversive conditioning in Drosophila." Current Science 105, no. 9 (Nov., 2013): 1254-1261.