• Apolipoprotein e4, cognition, and behavior in youth with Down syndrome

      Smith, R.; Edgin, J.; Department of Psychology; Department of Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences (2014-11-07)
      Given the early emergence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) related pathology in Down syndrome (DS; Trisomy 21), it is possible that changes may be evident in childhood or adolescence in Apolipoprotein (APOE) e3/e4 or e4/e4 genotypes in relation to e3/e3 genotypes. Given findings of early involvement of striatum amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide deposition in DS, we propose that a profile of executive and inhibitory control dysfunction will be found in youth carrying the risk e4 allele. From a pool of 72 children and adolescents with DS we examined a sub-sample with the risk e4 allele (n = 8; e3/e4) and without the risk e4 allele (n = 8; e3/e3). Participants were matched for age and ethnicity (range 8 - 21 years; mean age 14 years). Karyotypes were gathered from medical records, confirming a diagnosis of Trisomy 21. We collected genetic information (Oragene saliva kit) in home; they were sent to the Emory Biomarker Service Center to determine genotypes. We administered the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) and a set of cognitive outcomes measures validated for Down syndrome, the Arizona Cognitive Test Battery. Results from the KBIT-2 indicated no significant differences in verbal raw score (p = 0.65), non-verbal raw score (p = 0.69), or intelligence quotient (IQ) (p = 0.32). Neuropsychological test scores did differ; with poorer performance in the e4 sample on the CANTAB Paired Associates Learning task (p = 0.05) and parent/caregiver reports of working memory (p = 0.08). Therefore, as early as adolescence some changes may be seen in e4 carriers.
    • Pollen Foraging Bees Don't Learn Unsaturated Floral Color

      Newman, China Rae; Papaj, Dan; Russell, Avery; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Entomology and Insect Science (2016-02-24)
      We investigated whether bees have an innate preference for flowers with saturated pigments and whether experience altered any preference. Preference could be a result of reward quality varying by color morph and/or responses to the petals, anthers, or their combination. Consequently, we gave bees experience on one of four floral configurations created from two color morphs of Solanum tridynanum. We subsequently tested learned preference using an array of all four configurations. Changes in preference as a result of experience were not mediated by anthers, only by petals. Bees that first experienced configurations with purple petals subsequently preferred configurations with purple petals, relative to naïve bees. However, bees that first experienced white petals showed no subsequent change in preference relative to naïve bees. Surprisingly, naïve bees showed no preference for any particular floral configuration. Rather than an innate preference for flowers with more saturated colors, bees are less able to develop a preference for unsaturated types. Because individuals are more able to develop a preference for saturated flowers, these flowers experience greater visitation, and thus greater pollination success, over unsaturated types.