The Role of the Biogenic Amine Tyramine in Latent Inhibition Learning in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera
Animals must learn to ignore stimuli that are irrelevant to survival, a process referred to as latent inhibition. The Amtyr1 gene has been shown through quantitative trait loci mapping to be linked to strong latent inhibition in honey bees. Here we implicate this G-protein coupled receptor for the biogenic amine tyramine as an important factor underlying this form of learning in honey bees. We show that dsRNA targeted to disrupt the tyramine receptors, specifically affects latent inhibition but not excitatory associative conditioning. Our results therefore identify a distinct reinforcement pathway for latent inhibition in insects.