University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Waddell Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Behavior, Animal; Drosophila melanogaster; *Memory; Smell


Behavioral Neurobiology | Developmental Neuroscience | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience


It is now almost forty years since the first description of learning in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Various incarnations of the classic mutagenesis approach envisaged in the early days have provided around one hundred learning defective mutant fly strains. Recent technological advances permit temporal control of neural function in the behaving fly. These approaches have radically changed experiments in the field and have provided a neural circuit perspective of memory formation, consolidation and retrieval. Combining neural perturbations with more classical mutant intervention allows investigators to interrogate the molecular and cellular processes of memory within the defined neural circuits. Here, we summarize some of the progress made in the last ten years that indicates a remarkable conservation of the neural mechanisms of memory formation between flies and mammals. We emphasize that considering an ethologically-relevant viewpoint might provide additional experimental power in studies of Drosophila memory.


Drosophila melanogaster, Memory, Smell

DOI of Published Version



Curr Biol. 2013 Sep 9;23(17):R752-63. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.060. Link to article on publisher's site


Co-author Christopher Burke is a student in the Neuroscience program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at UMass Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current biology : CB

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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