Dr. Marie Guiraud
Simple models might be useful for the study of cognition. Hence, a wonderful model to uncover mechanisms of behavioural repertoire is the bee brain (honey bee and bumble bee predominantly). Bees possess a mini-brain with fewer than a million neurons, and yet exhibit impressive capabilities in learning and memory (in various sensory modalities: vision, olfaction and gustation). Unravelling the mysteries behind bee cognition by exploring the underlying neural mechanisms represents a very exciting challenge.
I am broadly interested in cognitive neuroscience, learning and memory. My research focuses on the behavioural aspects of visual object recognition, navigational processes and visual learning mechanisms in the bee brain.
During my PhD, I was particularly interested about 'how' bees solve complex cognitive tasks (example: conceptual learning tasks). I 3D tracked bees' trajectories engaged in a variety of visual puzzle to understand how stereotypical of the bee body movements (active vision) in front of a pattern helped the bee recognise a rewarding pattern from an unrewarding one. Now, my first post-doc will create a bridge between the behavioural performances of bees and their visual anatomy. With the help of Dr. Baird we will combine both our signature techniques in an effort to understand how ecology shapes the bee's anatomy and foraging behaviour.
Guiraud M.*, Roper M.* & Chittka L. (2018) High-Speed Videography Reveals How Honeybees Can Turn a Spatial Concept Learning Task Into a Simple Discrimination Task by Stereotyped Flight Movements and Sequential Inspection of Pattern Elements. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1347. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01347.
Guiraud M., Hotier L., Giurfa M. & de Brito Sanchez M.G. (2018) Aversive gustatory learning and perception in honey bees. Scientific Reports 8: 1343; doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19715-1
Mengoni Goñalons C.*, Guiraud M.*, de Brito Sanchez M.G. & Farina W.M. (2017) Insulin effects on honeybee appetitive behaviour. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 3003-3008; doi: 10.1242/jeb.143511