Dipl.-Biol. Benjamin Paffhausen

PhD Candidate

Neural correlates of social behavior in honeybees / Neuronale Korrelate von sozialem Verhalten der Biene

(PhD project)

We developed a set-up to study the connection between social behavior and neuronal activity at the level of high order interneurons (Dür et al. 2015). The set-up contains a wax-coated plate on which a mini colony survives together with queen and brood for a whole season. The behavior of the bees is monitored with infrared illuminated video in order to conduct behavioral analysis. One of the bees is taken out and prepared for brain recording. Contrary to the usual method of the shortest possible electrode, a one meter long electrode is inserted into her brain. An animal whose brain activity can be measured in this way is put back into the arena after anesthesia and starts behaving there again after a short break. Thus, it is now possible to correlate the behavioral parameters extracted from the videos with the neural activity of high order interneurons.