Study offers scientific explanation for why spurned males abandon courtship attempts

(University of California – Riverside) Unsuccessful courtship attempts by males create aversive memories that can reduce their level of enthusiasm for subsequent courtship attempts. Scientists at UC Riverside and colleagues have attempted to understand this behavior at the molecular level. Using the fruit fly as a model organism, the researchers show that the body’s hormonal state is critical to the maintenance of such “courtship memories.” Two hormones and dopamine, a neurotransmitter, are required in the brain to maintain courtship memories.