Behavioral Research with Planaria
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This article serves as a brief primer on planaria for behavior scientists. In the 1950s and 1960s, McConnell’s planarian laboratory posited that conditioned behavior could transfer after regeneration, and through cannibalization of trained planaria. These studies, the responses, and replications have been collectively referred to as the “planarian controversy.” Successful behavioral assays still require refinement with this organism, but they could add valuable insight into our conceptualization of memory and learning. We discuss how the planarian’s distinctive biology enables an examination of biobehavioral interaction models, and what behavior scientists must consider if they are to advance behavioral research with this organism. Suggestions for academics interested in building planaria learning laboratories are offered.
KeywordsPlanaria Invertebrate learning Behavior analysis Conditioning Memory
The authors thank Rachel L. Burroughs for helping with editing an earlier draft of this manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All material contained herein is not plagiarized.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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