Neural mechanisms of operant conditioning and learning-induced behavioral plasticity in Aplysia.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci.. 2010-11-02; 68(5): 803-816
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1. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Mar;68(5):803-16. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0570-9. Epub
2010 Nov 2.
Neural mechanisms of operant conditioning and learning-induced behavioral
plasticity in Aplysia.
Nargeot R(1), Simmers J.
(1)Laboratoire Mouvement, Adaptation, Cognition, Université Bordeaux 2, 146 rue
Léo Saignat, Bordeaux, France.
Associative learning in goal-directed behaviors, in contrast to reflexive
behaviors, can alter processes of decision-making in the selection of appropriate
action and its initiation, thereby enabling animals, including humans, to gain a
predictive understanding of their external environment. In the mollusc Aplysia,
recent studies on appetitive operant conditioning in which the animal learns
about the positive consequences of its behavior have provided insights into this
form of associative learning which, although ubiquitous, remains mechanistically
poorly understood. The findings support increasing evidence that central circuit-
and cell-wide sites other than chemical synaptic connections, including
electrical coupling and membrane conductances controlling intrinsic neuronal
excitability and underlying voltage-dependent plateauing or oscillatory
mechanisms, may serve as the neural substrates for behavioral plasticity
resulting from operant conditioning. Aplysia therefore continues to provide a
model system for understanding learning and memory formation that enables
establishing the neurobiological links between behavioral, network, and cellular
levels of analysis.
PMID: 21042832 [Indexed for MEDLINE]