Localization of Long-Term Memory Within the Drosophila Mushroom Body

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Science  02 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5544, pp. 1115-1117
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064200

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The mushroom bodies, substructures of theDrosophila brain, are involved in olfactory learning and short-term memory, but their role in long-term memory is unknown. Here we show that the alpha-lobes-absent (ala) mutant lacks either the two vertical lobes of the mushroom body or two of the three median lobes which contain branches of vertical lobe neurons. This unique phenotype allows analysis of mushroom body function. Long-term memory required the presence of the vertical lobes but not the median lobes. Short-term memory was normal in flies without either vertical lobes or the two median lobes studied.

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