Multimodal stimuli learning in hawkmoths (Balkenius et al. 2008)

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The moth Macroglossum stellatarum can learn the color and sometimes the odor of a rewarding food source. We present data from 20 different experiments with different combinations of blue and yellow artificial flowers and the two odors, honeysuckle and lavender. ... Three computational models were tested in the same experimental situations as the real moths and their predictions were compared with the experimental data. ... Neither the Rescorla–Wagner model nor a learning model with independent learning for each stimulus component were able to explain the experimental data. We present the new hawkmoth learning model, which assumes that the moth learns a template for the sensory attributes of the rewarding stimulus. This model produces behavior that closely matches that of the real moth in all 20 experiments.
1 . Balkenius A, Kelber A, Balkenius C (2008) How Do Hawkmoths Learn Multimodal Stimuli? A Comparison of Three Models Adaptive Behavior 16:349-360
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Model Type:
Brain Region(s)/Organism: Hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor;
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Gap Junctions:
Simulation Environment: C or C++ program (web link to model);
Model Concept(s): Simplified Models; Learning; Action Selection/Decision Making;
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