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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2000 May;73(3):258-73.

Appetitive learning using visual conditioned stimuli in the pond snail, lymnaea.

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Sussex Centre for Neuroscience, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9QG, United Kingdom.


Feeding can be conditioned in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis to two different visual stimuli (a black panel or a 5-mm black and white check surround) by pairing the potential conditioned stimulus (CS) with sucrose. Exclusion of chemical cues (associated with differences between the water in home tank and that in training apparatus) that could serve as CS is important for successful visual conditioning. A featureless gray surround, used as an alternative to the check (to which it was matched in luminance) in counterbalanced training designs, was discriminated from the check, showing that resolution (for which the eyes would be necessary) was occurring. The gray surround was largely ineffective as a CS. Single-trial learning was possible with the black panel, but not with the check; it is argued that this may be due to lack of prior experience of stimuli like the check. Conditioning of feeding has now been obtained in Lymnaea to chemical, tactile, and visual cues, opening the way to comparative studies of the neural circuitry underlying appetitive conditioning in different senses, so far explored in Lymnaea only for tactile CS. Such comparative studies are as yet largely lacking in invertebrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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