|Dr. Sebastián Antonio Minoli
Many olfactory and gustatory preferences of animals are strictly genetic. However, there are many other cues that acquire biological relevance after a first sensory experience. These cues can be presented individually (non- associative learning) or paired with a reinforcement (associative learning). Our project focuses mainly in establishing the cognitive abilities of kissing-bugs, and understanding which of the olfactory and gustatory cues released by their hosts produce an innate behaviour, and which of them can be learned. The main objective of our investigation is to determine how and what can kissing-bugs learn about their environment, and to understand the mechanisms involved in learning and memory of an hematophagous insect.