Highly developed odor learning was shown in the terrestrial slug Limax maximus. In addition, several key cellular elements of the neural network that controls ingestive feeding have been identified. The results of 3 experiments demonstrate an interaction between odor input and ingestive feeding in that olfactory stimulation with behaviorally attractive odors summed with tactile stimulation from plain agar to produce ingestion of plain agar. Agar ingestion did not occur in the absence of attractive odor stimulation. The adequacy of odor stimulation to trigger agar ingestion was altered by associative learning. Innately attractive odors rendered repellent by associative learning no longer triggered agar ingestion, whereas innately repellent odors rendered attractive by conditioning triggered agar ingestion. The newly discovered feeding command cells in the Limax cerebral ganglion are a logical cellular locus for this interaction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience