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Kirkhart, C., Scott, K. (2015). Gustatory learning and processing in the Drosophila mushroom bodies.  J. Neurosci. 35(15): 5950--5958.
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Research paper

The Drosophila mushroom bodies are critical association areas whose role in olfactory associative learning has been well characterized. Recent behavioral studies using a taste association paradigm revealed that gustatory conditioning also requires the mushroom bodies (Masek and Scott, 2010; Keene and Masek, 2012). Here, we examine the representations of tastes and the neural sites for taste associations in the mushroom bodies. Using molecular genetic approaches to target different neuronal populations, we find that the gamma lobes of the mushroom bodies and a subset of dopaminergic input neurons are required for taste associative learning. Monitoring responses to taste compounds in the mushroom body calyx with calcium imaging reveals sparse, taste-specific and organ-specific activation in the Kenyon cell dendrites of the main calyx and the dorsal accessory calyx. Our work provides insight into gustatory representations in the mushroom bodies, revealing the essential role of gustatory inputs not only as rewards and punishments but also as adaptive cues.

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PMC4397596 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Publication Type
    J. Neurosci.
    Journal of Neuroscience
    Publication Year
    0270-6474 1529-2401
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