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Insect brain plasticity: effects of olfactory input on neuropil size
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Functional Morphology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9820-847X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4195-8920
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Functional Morphology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9190-6873
2019 (English)In: Royal Society Open Science, E-ISSN 2054-5703, Vol. 6, no 8, article id 190875Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Insect brains are known to express a high degree of experience-dependent structural plasticity. One brain structure in particular, the mushroom body (MB), has been attended to in numerous studies as it is implicated in complex cognitive processes such as olfactory learning and memory. It is, however, poorly understood to what extent sensory input per se affects the plasticity of the mushroom bodies. By performing unilateral blocking of olfactory input on immobilized butterflies, we were able to measure the effect of passive sensory input on the volumes of antennal lobes (ALs) and MB calyces. We showed that the primary and secondary olfactory neuropils respond in different ways to olfactory input. ALs show absolute experience-dependency and increase in volume only if receiving direct olfactory input from ipsilateral antennae, while MB calyx volumes were unaffected by the treatment and instead show absolute age-dependency in this regard. We therefore propose that cognitive processes related to behavioural expressions are needed in order for the calyx to show experience-dependent volumetric expansions. Our results indicate that such experience-dependent volumetric expansions of calyces observed in other studies may have been caused by cognitive processes rather than by sensory input, bringing some causative clarity to a complex neural phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 6, no 8, article id 190875
Keywords [en]
antennal lobe, mushroom body, calyx, butterfly, olfaction, plasticity
National Category
Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171545DOI: 10.1098/rsos.190875OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171545DiVA, id: diva2:1342676
Available from: 2019-08-14 Created: 2019-08-14 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved

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