Data from: Social foraging extends associative odor-food memory expression in an automated learning assay for Drosophila melanogaster
Sehdev, Aarti; Mohammed, Yunusa; Tafrali, Cansu; Szyszka, Paul (2019), Data from: Social foraging extends associative odor-food memory expression in an automated learning assay for Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.77hs873
Animals socially interact during foraging and share information about the quality and location of food sources. The mechanisms of social information transfer during foraging have been mostly studied at the behavioral level, and its underlying neural mechanisms are largely unknown. Fruit flies have become a model for studying the neural bases of social information transfer, because they provide a large genetic toolbox to monitor and manipulate neuronal activity, and they show a rich repertoire of social behaviors. Fruit flies aggregate, they use social information for choosing a suitable mating partner and oviposition site, and they show better aversive learning when in groups. However, the effects of social interactions on associative odor–food learning have not yet been investigated. Here, we present an automated learning and memory assay for walking flies that allows the study of the effect of group size on social interactions and on the formation and expression of associative odor–food memories. We found that both inter-fly attraction and the duration of odor–food memory expression increase with group size. This study opens up opportunities to investigate how social interactions during foraging are relayed in the neural circuitry of learning and memory expression.