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original research [ original research in peer-reviewed journals (primary literature) ]
Different parameters support generalization and discrimination learning in Drosophila at the flight
AuthorBjörn Brembs and Natalie Hempel de Ibarra
Author email bjoern©brembs.net
Author websitehttp://brembs.net
DescriptionWe have used a genetically tractable model system, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to study the interdependence between sensory processing and associative processing on learning performance. We investigated the influence of variations in the physical and predictive properties of color stimuli in several different operant-conditioning procedures on the subsequent learning performance. These procedures included context and stimulus generalization as well as color, compound, and conditional discrimination (colors and patterns). A surprisingly complex dependence of the learning performance on the colors’ physical and predictive properties emerged, which was clarified by taking into account the fly-subjective perception of the color stimuli. Based on estimates of the stimuli’s color and brightness values, we propose that the different tasks are supported by different parameters of the color stimuli; generalization occurs only if the chromaticity is sufficiently similar, whereas discrimination learning relies on brightness differences.
Brembs, B and Hempel de Ibarra, N (2006): Different parameters support generalization and discrimination learning in Drosophila at the flight simulator. Learn. Mem. 13: 629-63
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