Analysis of associative learning in the terrestrial mollusc Limax maximus. II. Appetitive learning

Christie L. Sahley, Kathleen A. Martin, Alan Gelperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The odor and taste processing systems of the terrestrial mollusc Limax maximus have been shown capable of a number of complex computations. Most of the complex higher-order features of Limax learning have been demonstrated using differential aversive conditioning. The present experiments probe the appetitive learning ability of Limax. In the first experiment a differential appetitive classical conditioning procedure was used. An aversive CS+ odor was paired with an attractive taste while a CS- odor was explicitly unpaired with the attractive taste. This appetitive conditioning procedure dramatically increased the preference for the CS+ odor. Further experiments determined the time course of acquisition, the effect of an extinction procedure and long-term retention of the appetitive conditioning. Now that Limax has been shown capable of appetitive conditioning, the neural network simulation of Limax learning, called LIMAX, can be examined for its ability to display appetitive conditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Conditioning
  • Learning models
  • Neural networks
  • Odor processing
  • Synaptic plasticity


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