GSBS Student Publications


A neural circuit mechanism integrating motivational state with memory expression in Drosophila

Student Author(s)

Michael Krashes; Shamik DasGupta

GSBS Program


UMMS Affiliation

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



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Appetitive Behavior; Behavior, Animal; Conditioning, Classical; Dopamine; Drosophila Proteins; Drosophila melanogaster; Memory; Motivation; Mushroom Bodies; Neuropeptides; Receptors, Neuropeptide


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Behavioral expression of food-associated memory in fruit flies is constrained by satiety and promoted by hunger, suggesting an influence of motivational state. Here, we identify a neural mechanism that integrates the internal state of hunger and appetitive memory. We show that stimulation of neurons that express neuropeptide F (dNPF), an ortholog of mammalian NPY, mimics food deprivation and promotes memory performance in satiated flies. Robust appetitive memory performance requires the dNPF receptor in six dopaminergic neurons that innervate a distinct region of the mushroom bodies. Blocking these dopaminergic neurons releases memory performance in satiated flies, whereas stimulation suppresses memory performance in hungry flies. Therefore, dNPF and dopamine provide a motivational switch in the mushroom body that controls the output of appetitive memory.

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Citation: Cell. 2009 Oct 16;139(2):416-27. Link to article on publisher's site

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