Perturbing the impulse activity of a single identified neuron augments the formation of long-term memory in a molluscan semi-intact preparation /
Lowe, Michael R.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the neural correlates of operant conditioning in a semi-intact preparation of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Lymnaea learns, via operant conditioning, to reduce its aerial respiratory behaviour in response to an aversive tactile stimulus to its open pneumostome. This thesis demonstrates the successful conditioning of na'ive semiintact preparations to show learning in the dish. Furthermore, these conditioned preparations show long-term memory that persists for at least 18 hours. As the neurons that generate this behaviour have been previously identified I can, for the first time, monitor neural activity during both learning and long-term memory consolidation in the same preparation. In particular, I record from the respiratory neuron Right Pedal Dorsal 1 (RPeD 1) which is part of the respiratory central pattern generator. In this study, I demonstrate that preventing RPeDl impulse activity between training sessions reduces the number of sessions needed to produce long-term memory in the present semi-intact preparation.