Previously, we demonstrated that visual and olfactory associative memories of Drosophila share mushroom body (MB) circuits (Vogt et al., 2014). Unlike for odor representation, the MB circuit for visual information has not been characterized. Here, we show that a small subset of MB Kenyon cells (KCs) selectively responds to visual but not olfactory stimulation. The dendrites of these atypical KCs form a ventral accessory calyx (vAC), distinct from the main calyx that receives olfactory input. We identified two types of visual projection neurons (VPNs) directly connecting the optic lobes and the vAC. Strikingly, these VPNs are differentially required for visual memories of color and brightness. The segregation of visual and olfactory domains in the MB allows independent processing of distinct sensory memories and may be a conserved form of sensory representations among insects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)