Various non-mammalian model systems are being explored in the search for mechanisms of learning and memory storage of sufficient generality to contribute to the understanding of mammalian learning mechanisms. The terrestrial mollusk Limax maximus is one such model system in which mammalian-quality learning has been documented using odors as conditioned stimuli. The Limax odor information-processing circuits incorporate several system design features also found in mammalian odor-processing circuits, such as the use of cellular and network oscillations for making odor computations and the use of nitric oxide to control network oscillations. Learning and memory formation has been localized to a particular central circuit, the procerebral lobe, in which selective gene activation occurs through odor learning. Since the isolated Limax brain can perform odor learning in vitro, the circuits and synapses causally linked to learning and memory formation are assessable for further detailed analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience