A neural circuit mechanism integrating motivational state with memory expression in Drosophila

Michael J Krashes, Shamik DasGupta, Andrew Vreede, Benjamin White, J Douglas Armstrong, Scott Waddell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

357 Citations (Scopus)


Behavioral expression of food-associated memory in fruit flies is constrained by satiety and promoted by hunger, suggesting an influence of motivational state. Here, we identify a neural mechanism that integrates the internal state of hunger and appetitive memory. We show that stimulation of neurons that express neuropeptide F (dNPF), an ortholog of mammalian NPY, mimics food deprivation and promotes memory performance in satiated flies. Robust appetitive memory performance requires the dNPF receptor in six dopaminergic neurons that innervate a distinct region of the mushroom bodies. Blocking these dopaminergic neurons releases memory performance in satiated flies, whereas stimulation suppresses memory performance in hungry flies. Therefore, dNPF and dopamine provide a motivational switch in the mushroom body that controls the output of appetitive memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-27
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2009


  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Dopamine/physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins/physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster/physiology
  • Memory
  • Motivation
  • Mushroom Bodies/physiology
  • Neuropeptides/physiology
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide/physiology


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