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From likes to dislikes: conditioned taste aversion in the great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) 1

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Abstract:

The neural circuitry comprising the central pattern generator (CPG) that drives feeding behavior in the great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis (L., 1758)) has been worked out. Because the feeding behavior undergoes associative learning and long-term memory (LTM) formation, it provides an excellent opportunity to study the causal neuronal mechanisms of these two processes. In this review, we explore some of the possible causal neuronal mechanisms of associative learning of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and its subsequent consolidation processes into LTM in L. stagnalis. In the CTA training procedure, a sucrose solution, which evokes a feeding response, is used as the conditioned stimulus (CS) and a potassium chloride solution, which causes a withdrawal response, is used as the unconditioned stimulus (US). The pairing of the CS–US alters both the feeding response of the snail and the function of a pair of higher order interneurons in the cerebral ganglia. Following the acquisition of CTA, the polysynaptic inhibitory synaptic input from the higher order interneurons onto the feeding CPG neurons is enhanced, resulting in suppression of the feeding response. These changes in synaptic efficacy are thought to constitute a “memory trace” for CTA in L. stagnalis.

Keywords: Lymnaea stagnalis; alimentation; aversion gustative conditionnée; conditioned taste aversion; feeding; long-term memory; mémoire à long terme; retrait; withdrawal

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2012-0292

Affiliations: 1: Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University, 1314-1 Shido, Sanuki 769-2193, Japan. 2: Sandler Neurosciences Center, University of California, San Francisco, 675 Nelson Rising Lane 518, San Francisco, CA 94143-0444, USA. 3: Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada. 4: School of High-Technology for Human Welfare, Tokai University, 317 Nishino, Numazu 410-0321, Japan.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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