Reward seeking is a major motivator and organizer of behavior, and animals readily learn to modify their behavior to more easily obtain reward, or to respond to stimuli that are predictive of reward. Here, we compare what is known of reward processing mechanisms in insects with the well-studied vertebrate reward systems. In insects almost all of what is known of reward processing is derived from studies of reward learning. This is localized to the mushroom bodies and antennal lobes and organized by a network of hierarchically arranged modulatory circuits, especially those involving octopamine and dopamine. Neurogenetic studies with have identified distinct circuit elements for reward learning, “wanting,” and possibly “liking” in , suggesting a modular structure to the insect reward processing system, which broadly parallels that of the mammals in terms of functional organization.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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