Read by QxMD icon Read

Social Contact Acts as Appetitive Reinforcement and Supports Associative Learning in Honeybees

Hanna Cholé, Julie Carcaud, Hélène Mazeau, Sylvain Famié, Gérard Arnold, Jean-Christophe Sandoz
Current Biology: CB 2019 April 8
Social learning is taxonomically widespread in the animal kingdom [1], and although it is long thought to be a hallmark of vertebrates, recent studies revealed that it also exists in insects [2-5]. The adaptive functions of social learning are well known, but its underlying mechanisms remain debated [2, 5, 6]. Social insects critically depend on the social transmission of information for successful food search and their colonies' fitness [7] and are tractable models for studying the social cues and cognitive mechanisms involved [2-5]. Besides the well-known dance language allowing them to communicate the location of food sources among nestmates [8], honeybees also learn chemosensory information about these sources both outside and within the hive [9, 10]. In the latter case, they associate the floral scent carried by returning foragers on their body with the nectar provided through mouth-to-mouth trophallaxis, similar to the manner in which foragers directly learn odorant-nectar reward associations at the foraging patch [9-11]. Strikingly, however, neither the dance nor trophallaxis is strictly necessary for foragers recruited within the hive to find the right floral source, and simple body contact between foragers may be sufficient [12]. What is the reinforcing agent in this case? We show here that simple social contact acts as appetitive reinforcement and can be used in associative olfactory learning. We demonstrate that this social reinforcement is mediated by bees' antennal movements and modulated by bees' behavioral development. These results unveil a social learning mechanism that may play a facilitating role in resource exploitation by social groups.


You need to log in or sign up for an account to be able to comment.

No comments yet, be the first to post one!

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"