The study of habituation in animals with relatively simple nervous systems has contributed significantly to the understanding of mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Using the tail-elicited siphon withdrawal reflex of Aplysia, which is mediated in part by bilaterally symmetrical clusters of tail sensory neurons, we found that both short-term and long- term habituation can be restricted laterally, such that habituation produced by stimulation of one side of the tail does not generalize to the other side. Further experiments in this preparation revealed that long-term, laterally restricted habituation is sensitive to the temporal pattern with which stimuli are presented. We also determined that both short-term and long-term habituation can take place in a reduced behavioral preparation, and that short-term habituation can be restricted within relatively small stimulation sites located on the same side of the tail. These results provide insights into the cellular organization of habituation, and they provide a useful preparation for a cellular analysis of this basic form of learning.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 15 1996|
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