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Elucidating genes, circuits, and behavior in a novel Drosophila social learning and memory paradigm

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Speaker
Balint Kacsoh Post-Doctoral Fellow, Epigenetics Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
When
03 September 2019 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Where
8 Mueller Lab
Host
Dept of Biology
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Flies can communicate with one another about an anticipated danger, such as a parasitoid wasp, which is suggestive of a fly “language.” Interestingly, when wasp-exposed flies of one species are placed with a student of a different species, communication exists, to varying degrees, which seems dependent on evolutionary relatedness. Cohabitation of two species that can partially communicate can learn each other’s “dialect”, yielding effective inter-species communication. There are various inputs involved in communication between exposed and naïve flies, including the presence of visual and olfactory cues and circuitry, along with canonical learning and memory genes, including those implicated in social learning defects in murine models, such as PTEN and FMR.