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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2005 Jul;84(1):9-24.

Operant conditioning of an in vitro CNS-pneumostome preparation of Lymnaea.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Neuroscience Research Group, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alta., Canada T2N 4N1.


Operant conditioning of aerial respiratory behaviour and its consolidation into long-term memory in Lymnaea has been previously studied in both intact, freely moving snails and in in vitro preparations made from previously trained snails. Here, we show in previously untrained semi-intact in vitro Lymnaea preparations that aerial respiratory behaviour can also be operantly conditioned. Neither yoked control nor 'run-down' control procedures in these in vitro preparations result in an alteration of aerial respiratory behaviour. Memory in the operantly trained semi-intact preparations persists for at least 1h after training. Intracellular recordings made from RPeD1, one of the 3-CPG neurons and the neuron that initiates CPG activity; show that there are specific changes in central excitatory input to this neuron concurrent with learning and its consolidation into memory. In addition following the acquisition of learning and its consolidation into memory the ability of RPeD1 and VI/J neurons when depolarized to cause a pneumostome opening is significantly decreased. Thus, previously untrained in vitro semi-intact preparations can be used to study changes in neuronal activity in a neuron known to be both necessary for the behaviour and for memory formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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