June 15, 2009
Honeybees use calcium for memory storage
French scientists say they've determined calcium is involved in long-term memory formation in honeybees.
Researchers from France's National Center for Scientific Research, the French Calcium Research Network and the University of Toulouse found calcium acts as a switch between the bees' short- and long-term storage of learned information.
By modulating the intracellular calcium concentration in the insects' brains, we've been able to demonstrate that, during olfactory conditioning, (calcium) is both a necessary and a sufficient signal for the formation of protein-dependent long-term memory.
The research is reported in the journal BMC Biology.