New interview with PLoS ONE author

We are continuing our series in which we look at PLoS ONE articles that have a combination of good publicly available article level metrics (usage data: page views; citations (from Google), media coverage, comments and ratings etc).

Another such article is Aversive Learning in Honeybees Revealed by the Olfactory

Conditioning of the Sting Extension Reflex. I asked the Author (and Editorial Board member of PLoS ONE) of this article Martin Giurfa of the Research Centre on Animal Cognition (CNRS), University Paul-Sabatier, France, about why he chose PLoS ONE to publish his work and what his experience was like. This is what he said:

Q. Please briefly describe the topic of this paper and how you went about the research?

A. For almost 100 years the honeybee has been a traditional invertebrate model for the study of learning and memory but so far a single modality was investigated: appetitive learning in which bees were always rewarded with sugar to support learning. In this paper we overcome this limitation and provide the first controlled demonstration of aversive learning in honeybees. We showed that this learning is amenable to the laboratory and explored its cellular basis. Using odorants paired with electric shocks, we conditioned the sting extension reflex, which is exhibited by harnessed bees when subjected to a noxious stimulation. In parallel, we identified dopamine as the biogenic amine that substitutes aversive reinforcement in the bee brain, as opposed to octopamine that was shown to substitute for appetitive reinforcement.

Q. Why do you think this paper attracted interest and what are you investigating now?
A. This would be too long to go into here. Suffice to say that people have realized that aversive learning can now be studied in bees for the first time and that it is possible to access the brain simultaneously. In my opinion a very important step in the case of an animal that for decades has been the model for just appetitive learning

Q. Why did you choose PLoS ONE?

A. Because I wanted to support the PLoS ONE initiative by sending what I considered to be one of my best works. Because I thought that PLoS ONE could become an extremely important and recognized journal where the fashion ("we are not sending your paper to reviewers because it is not of general interest…") is excluded.

Q. What was your experience of publishing with us like?

A. The experience was very positive. Good editor, good reviewers, constructive criticisms, etc.

If this experience sounds good to you and you’ve not tried PLoS ONE yet or you’ve only published with us once or twice, we would welcome your work .

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