In this study published in the journal Current Biology, scientists show that CO2 released by Drosophila flies in a group recruits a long-lasting cryptic memory, which adds to the existing individual memory.
They identify the neural network underlying this CO2-dependent memory and suggest that natural variations in CO2 can modulate cognitive processes in insects.
The animal has the ability to establish associative links between distinct events, or between its own behavior and its direct consequences. Faced with an environment with changing and complex sources of information, the animal can thus rapidly adapt its behavior by integrating its past experiences, thus optimizing the quality of its decision making. Interactions between animals are an important source of information. The contribution of social interactions in the acquisition of new information has thus attracted much attention. However, the influence of the social context on the restitution of previously acquired information is still little known.
Muria A, Musso PY, Durrieu M, Portugal FR, Ronsin B, Gordon MD, Jeanson R, Isabel G.
Curr Biol. 2021 Mar 12. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.02.044