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Title: Brain composition in Heliconius butterflies, post-eclosion growth and experience-dependent neuropil plasticity
Authors: Montgomery, S. H.
Merrill, R. M.
Ott, Swidbert Roger
First Published: 2016
Publisher: Wiley for Wiley-Liss
Citation: Journal of Comparative Neurology, 2016 (Accepted, In Press)
Abstract: Behavioral and sensory adaptations are often reflected in the differential expansion of brain components. These volumetric differences represent changes in cell number, size and/or connectivity, which may denote changes in the functional and evolutionary relationships between different brain regions, and between brain composition and behavioral ecology. Here, we describe the brain composition of two species of Heliconius butterflies, a long-standing study system for investigating ecological adaptation and speciation. We confirm a previous report of a striking volumetric expansion of the mushroom body, and explore patterns of differential post-eclosion and experience-dependent plasticity between different brain regions. This analysis uncovers age- and experience-dependent post-eclosion mushroom body growth comparable to that in foraging Hymenoptera, but also identifies plasticity in several other neuropils. An interspecific analysis indicates that Heliconius display a remarkably large investment in mushroom bodies for a lepidopteran, and indeed rank highly compared to other insects. Our analyses lay the foundation for future comparative and experimental analyses that will establish Heliconius as a valuable case study in evolutionary neurobiology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI Link: 10.1002/cne.23993
ISSN: 0021-9967
eISSN: 1096-9861
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. All rights reserved. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Description: The file associated with this record is under a 12-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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