Thirty years of olfactory learning and memory research in Drosophila melanogaster

Prog Neurobiol. 2005 Aug;76(5):328-47. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2005.09.003. Epub 2005 Nov 2.


The last 30 years have witnessed tremendous progress in elucidating the basic mechanisms underlying a simple form of olfactory learning and memory in Drosophila. The application of the mutagenic approach to the study of olfactory learning and memory in Drosophila has yielded insights into the participation of a large number of genes in both the development of critical brain regions as well as in the physiology underlying the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of memory. Newer sophisticated molecular-genetic tools have further allowed for the specification and functional dissection of the neuronal circuitry involved in these processes at a systems level. With these advances in our understanding of the genes, neurons, and circuits involved in learning and memory, the field of Drosophila memory research is nearing a state of integration of the bottom up and top down approaches to understanding this form of behavioral plasticity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Research Design*
  • Smell / physiology*