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Association of olfactory learning with cuticular hydrocarbon discrimination in the ant Camponotus floridanus

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Communication amongst eusocial insect is key to their success. Ants rely on signaling to mediate many different functions within a colony such as policing and nest mate recognition. Camponotus floridanus uses chemosensory signaling in the form of cuticular hydrocarbons to

Communication amongst eusocial insect is key to their success. Ants rely on signaling to mediate many different functions within a colony such as policing and nest mate recognition. Camponotus floridanus uses chemosensory signaling in the form of cuticular hydrocarbons to regulate these functions. Each cuticular hydrocarbon profile contains numerous hydrocarbons, however it is yet to be seen if Camponotus floridanus can discriminate between linear hydrocarbons of similar length. Individual specimens were conditioned in three different ways: 5 conditioning with high concentration of sugar water (1;1 ratio), 1 conditioning with high concentration of sugar water, and 5 conditioning with low concentration of sugar water (1;4). Two linear hydrocarbons were use, C23 and C24, with C23 always being the conditioned stimulus. Specimens who were conditioned 5 times with high concentration of sugar water were the only group to show a significant response to the conditioned stimulus with a p-value of .008 and exhibited discrimination behavior 46% of the time. When compared 5 conditioning with high concentration to the other two testing conditioning groups, 1 conditioning with high concentration produced an insignificant p-value of .13 was obtained whereas when comparing it with 5 conditioning low concentration of sugar a significant p-value of .0132 was obtained. This indiciates that Camponotus floridanus are capable of discrimination however must be conditioned with high concentration of sugar water, while number of conditioning is insignificant.

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2014-05

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The Sensory Basis of Olfactory Detection in the Dampwood Termite, Zootermopsis Nevadensis

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ABSTRACT Communication is vital in the context of everyday life for all organisms, but particularly so in social insects, such as Z. nevadensis. The overall lifestyle and need for altruistic acts of individuals within a colony depends primarily on intracolony

ABSTRACT Communication is vital in the context of everyday life for all organisms, but particularly so in social insects, such as Z. nevadensis. The overall lifestyle and need for altruistic acts of individuals within a colony depends primarily on intracolony chemical communication, with a focus on odorants. The perception of these odorants is made possible by the chemoreceptive functions of sensilla basiconica and sensilla trichoid which exist on the antennal structure. The present study consists of both a morphological analysis and electrophysiological experiment concerning sensilla basiconica. It attempts to characterize the function of neurons present in sensilla basiconica through single sensillum recordings and contributes to existing literature by determining if a social insect, such as the dampwood termite, is able to perceive a wide spectrum of odorants despite having significantly fewer olfactory receptors than most other social insect species. Results indicated that sensilla basiconica presence significantly out-paced that of sensilla trichoid and sensilla chaetica combined, on all flagellomeres. Analysis demonstrated significant responses to all general odorants and several cuticular hydrocarbons. Combined with the knowledge of fewer olfactory receptors present in this species and their lifestyle, results may indicate a positive association between the the social complexity of an insect's lifestyle and the number of ORs the individuals within that colony possess.

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2015-05

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Learning and retention of novel words in musicians and non-musicians: the impact of enriched auditory experience on behavioral performance and electrophysiologic measures

Description

Music training is associated with measurable physiologic changes in the auditory pathway. Benefits of music training have also been demonstrated in the areas of working memory, auditory attention, and speech perception in noise. The purpose of this study

Music training is associated with measurable physiologic changes in the auditory pathway. Benefits of music training have also been demonstrated in the areas of working memory, auditory attention, and speech perception in noise. The purpose of this study was to determine whether long-term auditory experience secondary to music training enhances the ability to detect, learn, and recall new words.

Participants consisted of 20 young adult musicians and 20 age-matched non-musicians. In addition to completing word recognition and non-word detection tasks, each participant learned 10 nonsense words in a rapid word-learning task. All tasks were completed in quiet and in multi-talker babble. Next-day retention of the learned words was examined in isolation and in context. Cortical auditory evoked responses to vowel stimuli were recorded to obtain latencies and amplitudes for the N1, P2, and P3a components. Performance was compared across groups and listening conditions. Correlations between the behavioral tasks and the cortical auditory evoked responses were also examined.

No differences were found between groups (musicians vs. non-musicians) on any of the behavioral tasks. Nor did the groups differ in cortical auditory evoked response latencies or amplitudes, with the exception of P2 latencies, which were significantly longer in musicians than in non-musicians. Performance was significantly poorer in babble than in quiet on word recognition and non-word detection, but not on word learning, learned-word retention, or learned-word detection. CAEP latencies collapsed across group were significantly longer and amplitudes were significantly smaller in babble than in quiet. P2 latencies in quiet were positively correlated with word recognition in quiet, while P3a latencies in babble were positively correlated with word recognition and learned-word detection in babble. No other significant correlations were observed between CAEPs and performance on behavioral tasks.

These results indicated that, for young normal-hearing adults, auditory experience resulting from long-term music training did not provide an advantage for learning new information in either favorable (quiet) or unfavorable (babble) listening conditions. Results of the present study suggest that the relationship between music training and the strength of cortical auditory evoked responses may be more complex or too weak to be observed in this population.

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2017