"Memory codes and their transformations in the brain of the Honeybee" by Randolf Menzel

Past Event

08 May 2015, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This seminar is hosted by the Programme on Mind and Machine

Summary: Associative and exploratory learning leave memory traces in the brain of the honeybee. We take advantage of the rich learning repertoire of the bee under natural and laboratory conditions, and search for neural correlates at the level of the mushroom body input (calyx) and output (lobe) regions. Associative learning focuses on olfactory learning, exploration on complex multisensory learning. The olfactory memory trace can be conceptualized as a distributed pattern of changed synaptic sites in the lip region of the calyx, and as a combinatorial pattern of neural plasticity in defined subsets of extrinsic lobe neurons. Much less is known about memory traces after exploration.

Randolf will present behavioural data supporting the interpretation that exploration of the environment leads to a map-like memory structure. Attempts will be presented to search for neural correlates of such a memory structure, both for visual cues of the environment and for multisensory cues inside the colony.

Speaker: Randolf Menzel, Head, Institute for Neurobiology, Freie Universität Berlin

For further information please contact Fiona Woods at fiona.woods@cncb.ox.ac.uk

About the speaker

Randolf Menzel heads the Institute for Neurobiology at Freie Universität Berlin. He is a member of the German National Acadamy of Sciences Leopoldina and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize and the International Research Prize of the Fyssen Foundation.