Guo, A (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Biophys, Ctr Brain & Cognit Sci, Lab Visual Informat Proc, 15 Datum Rd,Chaoyang Dist, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China,email@example.com
This is the introduction of Drosophila. into the study of learning and memory affected by removal of the geomagnetic field (GMF) for successive generations. Using the operant visual learning/memory paradigm at a flight simulator, the present study revealed that wild-type flies raised in a hypomagnetic field environment continuously for 10 successive generations were gradually impaired in visual conditioning learning and memory formation and finally the 10th generation flies became morphs of nonlearners and completely amnesiac. The control experiments show that the impairment could not be ascribed to any apparent sensorimotor problems in Drosophila. The reverse shift from hypomagnetic field (HMF) to natural GMF restored the GMF-free induced amnesia fully after six consecutive generations. Thus, our findings demonstrate conclusively that some serious, but reversible learning and memory impairment may occur for living organisms in a prolonged separation from GMF over many consecutive generations. And Drosophila has the potential to develop into a new model organism for the study of the neurobiology of magnetism for multiple generations. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.