Event Abstract

Neuronal activity during sleep and memory formation in the Honey bee

  • 1 Free University Berlin, Neurobiology, Germany
  • 2 Free University Berlin, Neuroinformatics, Germany
  • 3 Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, Germany

Human beings spend almost one third of their life sleeping, and the consequences of sleep deprivation have been widely reported. Despite the increasing insight into the mechanisms of sleep generation, the function of sleep still remains unclear. Several hypothesis have been proposed, one of which claims that sleep periods are favorable for brain plasticity and for learning and memory (1). In this framework, sleep would be involved in the processing of the memory traces that would then be incorporated into long-term memory.
At the behavioral level, it has been reported that the honey bee Apis mellifera displays distinct sleep phases which can be monitored by tracking the bee's antennal movements, and that these sleep phases are associated with memory consolidation (2). But so far there is no evidence of the implications of the neuronal activity during sleep in memory formation. In this work, long term extracellular activity of multiple feedback neurons of the protocerebral-calycal tract (PCT) was recorded during a combined visual and olfactory learning paradigm, and during sleep phases as well. PCT neurons respond to a variety of sensory modalities (3) and are a potential candidate for multi-sensory learning and memory formation in the bee brain. By recording the activity of these neurons we were able to monitor the overall changes in multi-unit activity of PCT neurons during the sleep and awake phases, and to correlate the single unit activity pattern during training and testing sessions with the pattern observed during sleep for these units. Our goal is to relate neural activity during the sleep phases with the animal's performance during memory retention tests.

(1) Maquet P (2001) The Role of Sleep in Learning and Memory. Science 294, 1048.
(2) Hussaini A, Bogusch L, Landgraf T and Menzel R (2009) Sleep deprivation affects extinction but not acquisition memory in honeybees, Learn Mem. 2009 Oct 28;16(11):698-705.
(3) Gronenberg W (1986) Physiological and anatomical properties of optical input-fibers to the mushroom body in the bee brain. J Insect Physiol 32:695-704.

Keywords: electrophysiolgy, Memory, mushroom body, Sleep

Conference: Bernstein Conference 2012, Munich, Germany, 12 Sep - 14 Sep, 2012.

Presentation Type: Poster

Topic: Learning, plasticity, memory

Citation: Campetella F, Klinke I, Ray S, Nawrot MP and Menzel R (2012). Neuronal activity during sleep and memory formation in the Honey bee. Front. Comput. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Bernstein Conference 2012. doi: 10.3389/conf.fncom.2012.55.00151

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Received: 11 May 2012; Published Online: 12 Sep 2012.

* Correspondence: Miss. Florencia Campetella, Free University Berlin, Neurobiology, Berlin, Germany, fcampetella@gmail.com