Animals need to associate different environmental stimuli with each other regardless of whether they temporally overlap or not. Drosophila melanogaster displays olfactory trace conditioning, where an odor is followed by electric shock reinforcement after a temporal gap, leading to conditioned odor avoidance. Reversing the stimulus timing in olfactory conditioning results in the reversal of memory valence such that an odor that follows shock is later on approached (i.e. relief conditioning). Here, we explored the effects of stimulus timing on memory in another sensory modality, using a visual conditioning paradigm. We found that flies form visual memories of opposite valence depending on stimulus timing and can associate a visual stimulus with reinforcement despite being presented with a temporal gap. These results suggest that associative memories with non-overlapping stimuli and the effect of stimulus timing on memory valence are shared across sensory modalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)