Pavlovian conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex in harnessed foragers using paired vs. unpaired and discrimination learning paradigms: Tests for differences among honeybee subspecies in Turkey

Charles I. Abramson, T. Andrew Mixson, Ibrahim Çakmak, Aaron J. Place, Harrington Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experiments utilized three honeybee subspecies from very distinct biomes (Apis mellifera caucasica, A.m. carnica, A.m. syriaca). In experiment one a simple association between odor and a sucrose feeding was readily established in all three subspecies. This association decreased when the conditioned stimulus was no longer followed by a feeding. Neither the learning rate nor extinction rate differed among subspecies. Unpaired controls confirmed that the acquisition of the odor-food association is learned. In experiment two, an attempt to uncover subspecies differences was tested through the ability of bees to discriminate between two odors, one of which is paired with a feeding. Rapid learning occurred in all subspecies and no significant subspecies differences were observed. Finally, discrimination learning was used as an added control to test for honeybee response to an olfactory versus mechanical (air) stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalApidologie
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera carnica
  • Apis mellifera caucasica
  • Apis mellifera syriaca
  • Discrimination learning
  • Proboscis conditioning

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