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Keywords:

  • cricket;
  • dopamine;
  • memory;
  • neurotransmitter;
  • octopamine

Abstract

Biogenic amines play major roles in the regulation of behavior in vertebrates and invertebrates. Previous studies in honey bees and fruit-flies Drosophila suggested that octopamine (OA, invertebrate counterpart of noradrenaline) and dopamine (DA) participate in appetitive olfactory conditioning with sucrose reward and aversive olfactory conditioning with electric shock punishment, respectively. In order to determine whether the effects of the two chatecholamines on electric shock and sugar learning can be generalized to other kinds of appetitive and aversive reinforcers, we studied the effects of OA and DA receptor antagonists on appetitive olfactory learning with water reward, and aversive olfactory learning with saline punishment in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. Crickets injected with epinastine or mianserin, OA receptor antagonists, into the hemolymph exhibited an impairment of appetitive learning with water reward, while aversive learning with saline punishment remained intact. In contrast, fluphenazine, chlorpromazine or spiperone, DA receptor antagonists, impaired aversive learning without affecting appetitive learning. This finding, combined with findings in previous studies, suggests that the octopaminergic reward system and dopaminergic punishment system participate in insect olfactory learning with various appetitive and aversive reinforcements.