The pond snail Lymnaea learns conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and remembers not to respond to food substances that initially cause a feeding response. The possible relationship between how well snails learn to follow taste-aversion training and brain dopamine contents is not known. We examined this relationship and found the following: first, snails in the act of eating just before the commencement of CTA training were poor learners and had the highest dopamine contents in the brain; second, snails which had an ad libitum access to food, but were not eating just before training, were average learners and had lower dopamine contents; third, snails food-deprived for one day before training were the best learners and had significantly lower contents of dopamine compared to the previous two cohorts. There was a negative correlation between the CTA grades and the brain dopamine contents in these three cohorts. Fourth, snails fooddeprived for five days before training were poor learners and had higher dopamine contents. Thus, severe hunger increased the dopamine content in the brain. Because dopamine functions as a reward transmitter, CTA in the severely deprived snails (i.e. the fourth cohort) was thought to be mitigated by a high dopamine content.
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