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Formation of normal olfactory memory requires the expression of the wild-type amnesiac gene in the dorsal paired medial (DPM) neurons. Imaging the activity in the processes of DPM neurons revealed that the neurons respond when the fly is stimulated with electric shock or with any odor that was tested. Pairing odor and electric-shock stimulation increases odor-evoked calcium signals and synaptic release from DPM neurons. These memory traces form in only one of the two branches of the DPM neuron process. Moreover, trace formation requires the expression of the wild-type amnesiac gene in the DPM neurons. The cellular memory traces first appear at 30 min after conditioning and persist for at least 1 hr, a time window during which DPM neuron synaptic transmission is required for normal memory. DPM neurons are therefore "odor generalists" and form a delayed, branch-specific, and amnesiac-dependent memory trace that may guide behavior after acquisition.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.cell.2005.09.037

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell

Publication Date

02/12/2005

Volume

123

Pages

945 - 957

Keywords

Animals, Calcium, Conditioning, Classical, Drosophila Proteins, Drosophila melanogaster, Electric Stimulation, Memory, Neurons, Neuropeptides, Odors, Smell, Synaptic Transmission, Time Factors, Transgenes