Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 202, Issue 6, pp 399–409 | Cite as

Training Lymnaea in the presence of a predator scent results in a long-lasting ability to form enhanced long-term memory

  • Jeremy Forest
  • Hiroshi Sunada
  • Shawn Dodd
  • Ken Lukowiak
Original Paper


Lymnaea exposed to crayfish effluent (CE) gain an enhanced ability to form long-term memory (LTM). We test the hypothesis that a single CE exposure and operant conditioning training leads to long lasting changes in the capability of snails to form LTM when tested in pond water four weeks later. We trained both juvenile and adult snails with a single 0.5 h training session in CE and show that LTM was present 24 h later. Snails trained in a similar manner in just pond water show no LTM. We then asked if such training in CE conferred enhanced memory forming capabilities on these snails four weeks later. That is, would LTM be formed in these snails four weeks later following a single 0.5 h training session in pond water? We found that both adult and juvenile snails previously trained in CE one month previously had enhanced LTM formation abilities. The injection of a DNA methylation blocker, 5-AZA, prior to training in adult snails blocked enhanced LTM formation four weeks later. Finally, this enhanced LTM forming ability was not passed on to the next generation of snails.


Lymnaea Long-term memory Epigenetic change Predator scent 



Crayfish effluent


Central nervous system


cAMP response element-binding protein


First generation


Long-term memory


Memory test session


Pond water


Standard error of the mean


Training session





Funded by NSERC.

Complicance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Ethical statement

We have followed all applicable University of Calgary protocols necessary for these experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Forest
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Sunada
    • 1
  • Shawn Dodd
    • 1
  • Ken Lukowiak
    • 1
  1. 1.Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.University Claude BernardLyonFrance

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