, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 1-8

An analysis of associative learning in a terrestrial mollusc

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We have recently demonstrated that associative learning can play an important role in the regulation of food selection behavior ofLimax maximus, a terrestrial mollusc. The tendency ofLimax to approach a normally attractive odor generated by a food source such as carrot or potato can be markedly reduced if exposure to that odor is paired with exposure to a bitter taste (quinidine sulfate). We now report that variables known to influence associative learning by vertebrates (the operations of a second-order conditioning procedure, blocking and US-pre-exposure) similarly influence associative learning byLimax.

We thank D. Hogan and A. Nonneman for their critical comments and discussions of the manuscript. We also thank L. Cholewiak for help in collecting some of the data. This work was supported by NIH postdoctoral fellowship 5 F32 NS06221-02 to C.S. and NSF Grant BNS 8005822 and NIH Grant NSMH 15698 to A.G.