Learning in Gastropod Mollusks

  • A. O. D. Willows


Among the six classes of mollusks, apart from that on the cephalopods the greatest amount of work relating to behavioral and neuronal plasticity has been done on the gastropods. The Gastropoda are a very large (over 80,000 species) and diverse class which have invaded every type of habitat with the exception of the aerial one. Their particular attractions to workers in neurophysiology and behavior are basically two. First, their diversity increases the likelihood that there will be one or several species readily available virtually anywhere on earth. A stroll in the marine intertidal is almost certain to turn up several snails, limpets, or nudibranchs, and numerous species of the families Lymnaeidae, Planorbidae, and Physidae inhabit pond, stream, and lake shores. There are snails and slugs inhabiting most leafy areas and dry grasslands. Even the sands of parched deserts support a gastropod fauna; e.g., Sphincterochila survives in the Negev (Yom-Tov, 1970; Schmidt-Nielsen et al., 1971).


Classical Conditioning Interstimulus Interval Abdominal Ganglion Withdrawal Response Pond Snail 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. O. D. Willows
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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