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Once bitten, twice shy -- a temperature switch triggers aversive memory
Date:7/26/2010

rate that the activity of three dopamine-releasing cells is essential for a detected odor to be associated with a negative experience. The decisive role of these three cells was unambiguous: if the cells were temperature-activated while the flies picked up on an odor, then the insects learned to avoid the odor even without the electric shock that constituted the negative association with the odor.

"We can now actually examine the function of individual nerve cells in an active and behaving animal. This opens up new horizons", Yoshinori Aso, who is visibly delighted with the outcome of his experiment, adds. Step by step, the scientists now plan to get to the bottom of how experiences are linked to each other and how behavior modification develops.


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Contact: Stefanie Merker
merker@neuro.mpg.de
49-898-578-3514
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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