Drosophila learning and memory:
recent progress and new approaches

Belvin MP, Yin JC.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 11724, USA.
Bioessays 1997 Dec;19(12):1083-9


The processes of learning and memory have traditionally been studied in large experimental organisms (Aplysia, mice, rats and humans), where well-characterized behaviors are easily tested. Although Drosophila is one of the most experimentally tractable organisms, it has only recently joined the others as a model organism for learning and memory. Drosophila behavior has been studied for over 20 years; however, most of the work in the learning and memory field has focused on initial learning, because establishing memory in Drosophila has not been as straightforward as in other organisms. A major recent advance in this field has been the development of a training protocol that induces long-term memory in files. This made possible experiments that implicated the Drosophila CREB gene as a critical component in the consolidation of long-term memory, and paves the way for future experiments utilizing the well developed tools in Drosophila. This review will briefly summarize what is known in the field of Drosophila learning and memory to date, and discuss why the unique aspects of this field make traditional approaches difficult and reward the use of alternative paths of experimentation.

New brain cells
CREBs and memory
The memory switch?
Dumb-drug euphoria
Growing new brain cells
Photographic memory in flies
CREB and long-term memory
Memory promoters and suppressors
CREB and the discovery of cognitive enhancers

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