Sleep and its role in memory consolidation
The role of sleep in the honeybee memory consolidation has been addressed in our lab in two studies so far. Hussaini et al. (2009) found reduced retention after extinction learning in an olfactory PER experiment if bees are prevented from sleep during the night following extinction learning. Beyaert, Greggers and Menzel tested freely flying bees after navigation learning and found reduced homing rates if the bees could not sleep the night after novel navigation learning (see Beyaert L, Greggers U and Menzel R (2012) Honeybees consolidate navigation memory during sleep. Journal of Experimental Biology 215, 3981-3988) These results support the hypothesis that specific forms of memory consolidation are affected by sleep because acquisition learning in the olfactory PER experiment and cue learning in the free flying bee experiment were not compromised after sleep deprivation. We are currently performing experiments that aim to test whether memory consolidation can be facilitated during sleep phases. We also analyze a large data set from long term extracellular multi unit recordings searching for neural activity patterns during sleep phases. We also found, that a reminder stimulus improves memory consolidation in bees Zwaka et al. (2015).