Behavioural and network plasticity following conditioning of the aerial respiratory response of a pulmonate mollusc1

Author: Rothwell, C.M.

Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology, Volume 91, Number 6, March 2013 , pp. 382-390(9)

Publisher: NRC Research Press

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Most molluscs perform respiration using gills, but the pulmonate molluscs have developed a primitive lung with which they perform pulmonary respiration. The flow of air into this lung occurs through an opening called the pneumostome, and pulmonate molluscs travel to the surface of the water to obtain oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere. The aerial respiratory behaviour of the pulmonate mollusc, the great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis (L., 1758)), has been well studied, and a three-neuron central pattern generator (CPG) controlling this rhythmic behaviour has been identified. The aerial respiratory behaviour of L. stagnalis can be operantly conditioned and plasticity within the CPG has been associated with the conditioned response. In this review, we describe both the aerial respiratory behaviour and the underlying neuronal network of this pulmonate mollusc, and then discuss both the behavioural and network plasticity that results from the conditioning of this behaviour.
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