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Behav Neural Biol. 1989 Sep;52(2):260-70.

Goal-tracking behavior in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis.

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  • 1MRC Neurophysiology Research Group, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom.


The occurrence of goal-tracking, an unconditioned stimulus (US)-directed autoshaping behavior, was studied in open-field tests with control and classically conditioned pond snails, Lymnaea stagnalis. In an appetitive classical conditioning paradigm with a tactile stimulus as conditioned stimulus (CS) and a localized food stimulus as US a conditioned feeding response built up in the experimental but not in the control animals. In the post-training open-field tests the experimental group alone showed an enhanced attraction toward the source of water current in the environment which previously signalled the arrival of the US but did not act as CS in the classical conditioning procedure. We suggest that this stimulus-directed goal-tracking behavior in Lymnaea is the result of a classical-operant interaction, described so far only in vertebrate animals, and that neurophysiological analysis of this behavior is possible in this snail.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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