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Volume 24, Number 3, 1993
Neurobiology of the honeybee
Page(s) 195 - 217
Apidologie 24 (1993) 195-217
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19930303

Olfactory response characteristics and tuning structure of placodes in the honey bee Apis mellifera L

W.M. Getz and R.P. Akers

Department of Entomology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Abstract - Little is known about how honey bee sensory neurons detect ordinary (nonpheromonal) odors because: i) simultaneous response of relatively large numbers of olfactory neurons in a honey bee olfactory placode sensillum makes it difficult to interpret extracellular recordings from these sensilla; and ii) the majority of insect olfactory studies focus on questions relating to the detection of sex and aggregation pheromones rather than ordinary odors. Here we discuss the problem of ordinary odor detection in a general context and then review what is know about the response of honey bee sensory neurons to ordinary odors. We also present new analyses of data recently obtained from extracellular recordings of the response of honey bee worker placode sensilla to single and binary combinations of various odorants.

Key words: sensory neuron / olfactory coding / electrophysiology / placode / olfaction