The pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, is a useful preparation for analyzing the commonality between development and learning. To promote this analysis, the anatomical substrate should be provided upon which learning is superposed during development. Because we previously demonstrated that L stagnalis change their ability of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) as a long-term memory from veliconcha embryos to immatures, we examined in the present study the numbers of cells and the volume of the buccal and cerebral ganglia in the snails at the critical developmental stages. The buccal and cerebral ganglia include the majority of neurons involved in the CTA. We found that the numbers of cells in these ganglia are almost saturated in the immatures, but the volumes of these ganglia still increase from the immatures to the adults. These results suggested that most of the cells indispensable to the CTA emerge at the immature stage, but that individual cells in the ganglia continue to enlarge even in adulthood. Furthermore, the key neuron for the CTA was found to mature at the immature stage. The present study provided the anatomical substrate upon the long-term CTA, by which snails can eat safe food in a wide territory.
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