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Associative memory stored by functional novel pathway rather than modifications of preexisting neuronal pathways

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posted on 2009-12-08, 16:11 authored by Volko A. Straub, I. Kemenes, M. O'Shea, P. R. Benjamin
Associative conditioning involves changes in the processing pathways activated by sensory information to link the conditioned stimulus (CS) to the conditioned behavior. Thus, conditioning can recruit neuronal elements to form new pathways for the processing of the CS and/or can change the strength of existing pathways. Using a behavioral and systems level electrophysiological approach on a tractable invertebrate circuit generating feeding in the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis, we identified three independent pathways for the processing of the CS amyl acetate used in appetitive conditioning. Two of these pathways, one suppressing and the other stimulating feeding, mediate responses to the CS in naive animals. The effects of these two pathways on feeding behavior are unaltered by conditioning. In contrast, the CS response of a third stimulatory pathway is significantly enhanced after conditioning, becoming an important contributor to the overall CS response. This is unusual because, in most of the previous examples in which naive animals already respond to the CS, memory formation results from changes in the strength of pathways that mediate the existing response. Here, we show that, in the molluscan feeding system, both modified and unmodified pathways are activated in parallel by the CS after conditioning, and it is their integration that results in the conditioned response.

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Citation

Journal of Neuroscience, 2006, 26 (15), pp.4139-4146

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journal of Neuroscience

Publisher

Society for Neuroscience

issn

0270-6474

eissn

1529-2401

Copyright date

2006

Available date

2009-12-08

Publisher version

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/26/15/4139

Language

en

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