An automated learning apparatus for classical conditioning of Lymnaea stagnalis

Satoshi Takigami, Hiroshi Sunada, Ken Lukowiak, Etsuro Ito, Manabu Sakakibara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of taste avoidance classical conditioning (TAC) with sucrose as the conditional stimulus (CS) and mechanical prodding as the unconditional stimulus (US). After successful training, feeding behavior is significantly suppressed in response to CS presentation. New method: An automated apparatus is described for the training of multiple snails up to 10 snails at the same time. The new apparatus employs an electrical shock obtained from a 9-V dry cell to deliver a consistent and effective current amplitude of 0.4 μA (i.e., the US). Results: Using this apparatus, 10 snails can be conditioned simultaneously. We found that the optimal parameters to result in both short (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) were 15 paired presentations of the CS and US with a 5-min inter-trial interval (ITI) and 0.2-s current duration. However, both STM and LTM were observed with other ITIs tested. Successful TAC with only a single pairing of the CS-US occurred with a CS of 100 mM sucrose solution for 60 s followed by a US of 9 V with 0.4 μA for 5 s. Comparison with existing method: The use of automated training apparatus for TAC will enable us to better examine the relationship between strength of CS and US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Control of temporal sequence
  • Inter-trial interval
  • Long-term memory
  • One-trial conditioning
  • Paired presentation of conditional and unconditional stimuli
  • Short-term memory
  • Stimulus duration
  • Temporal stimulus parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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