Humans and other mammals as well as honeybees learn a unilateral association between an olfactory stimulus presented to one side and a reward. In all of them, the learned association can be behaviourally retrieved via contralateral stimulation, suggesting inter-hemispheric communication. However, the underlying neuronal circuits are largely unknown and neural correlates of across-brain-side plasticity have yet not been demonstrated. We report neural plasticity that reflects lateral integration after side-specific odour reward conditioning. Mushroom body output neurons that did not respond initially to contralateral olfactory stimulation developed a unique and stable representation of the rewarded compound stimulus (side and odour) predicting its value during memory retention. The encoding of the reward-associated compound stimulus is delayed by about 40 ms compared with unrewarded neural activity, indicating an increased computation time for the read-out after lateral integration.
Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3583475.
- Received June 16, 2016.
- Accepted November 10, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.