The Menzel Research Group

 Prof. Dr. Randolf Menzel
 Freie Universität Berlin 
 Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie 
 Institut für Biologie
 - Neurobiologie - 
 Königin-Luise-Strasse 28/30 
 14195 Berlin-Dahlem 

 phone:   ++49 30/838-53930 
 fax:     ++49 30/838-55455 



Neurobiology and the Behavior of the Honeybee
Our research group applies a top-down approach with the aim of understanding the neural and cellular basis of sensory perception (olfactory, visual), learning, and memory in honeybees. We chose the honeybee because it learns fast and effectively at the feeding site and, under constraint, in laboratory conditioning. Memory in bees is a dynamic self-organizing process that runs through phases and leads to life-long stability. Sensory capacities can be scrutinized with training techniques and related to the eco-evolutionary conditions for which they were developed. We try to relate the various levels of analysis to each other by asking the same questions at the behavioral, neural, cellular, and molecular level. At the neural level, we apply single cell recording (sharp and patch electrodes) and imaging (calcium fluorescence) techniques. At the cellular and molecular level we apply biochemical (protein chemistry, antibodies) and molecular techniques (cloning, sequencing).

German version


Our current research projects on honeybees are:
1. Navigation in honeybees: the organization of large-scale spatial memory
Menzel / Greggers
2. Detection and recognition of color patterns and the design of color patterns in flowers
Hempel de Ibarra / Wertlen


3. Visual physiology
Hempel de Ibarra / Niggebrügge


4. Classical conditioning of the proboscis extension response: elementary and configural characteristics of olfactory conditioning
5. Neuronal correlates of associative learning
Menzel/Manz / Schaupp / Szyszka / Weidert 
6. Neural basis of olfactory coding
8. Ionic bases of neural plasticity
Grünewald / Wersing / Ganz
9. Signal cascades involved in non-associative and associative plasticity at the level of the antennal lobe and the mushroom body
U. Müller / Eisenhardt  
10. Plasticity of olfactory coding in Drosophila melanogaster
11. Ontogenetic development of the mushroom body and its specific contribution to learning and memory
12. Reconstruction of the bee brain
Klawitter / Krofczik
13. Bee Pathology
14. 2-Photon Imaging


Additional Activities

Research report 1998



         last update: February 11, 2004