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Learn Mem. 2002 Jan-Feb;9(1):29-40.

Interaction between amount and pattern of training in the induction of intermediate- and long-term memory for sensitization in aplysia.

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  • 1Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8074, USA.


In Aplysia, three distinct phases of memory for sensitization can be dissociated based on their temporal and molecular features. A single training trial induces short-term memory (STM, lasting <30 min), whereas five trials delivered at 15-min intervals induces both intermediate-term memory (ITM, lasting >90 min) and long-term memory (LTM, lasting >24 h). Here, we explore the interaction of amount and pattern of training in establishing ITM and LTM by examining memory for sensitization after different numbers of trials (each trial = one tail shock) and different patterns of training (massed vs. spaced). Under spaced training patterns, two trials produced STM exclusively, whereas four or five trials each produced both ITM and LTM. Three spaced trials failed to induce LTM but did produce an early decaying form of ITM (E-ITM) that was significantly shorter and weaker in magnitude than the late-decaying ITM (L-ITM) observed after four to five trials. In addition, E-ITM was induced after three trials with both massed and spaced patterns of training. However, L-ITM and LTM after four to five trials require spaced training: Four or five massed trials failed to induce LTM and produced only E-ITM. Collectively, our results indicate that in addition to three identified phases of memory for sensitization--STM, ITM, and LTM--a unique temporal profile of memory, E-ITM, is revealed by varying either the amount or pattern of training.

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