Cellular mechanisms of behavioral plasticity in terrestrial snail

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2002 Aug;26(5):597-630. doi: 10.1016/s0149-7634(02)00022-2.


Functional organization of networks underlying withdrawal, feeding, and respiration in terrestrial gastropod snail Helix are described. Tracking the changes during non-associative and associative modifications of behavior, analysis of plasticity mechanisms in identified neurons involved in these networks allowed to formulate several conceptual principles which are not widely accepted. The review will present data underlying the following principles: 1. Command neuron concept can be applied only to all-or-none behavior. 2. Habituation is an active down-regulation process opposite to up-regulating sensitization. All long-term behavioral changes at least in part are associative. 3. Reinforcement is a motivational state mediated by neuromodulatory neurons and can be produced by activity of a single modulatory neuron. 4. Non-addressed ('soft-wired') neuromodulatory influences are necessary for acquisition of memory, while retention of memory depends mostly on 'hard-wired' local changes in synaptic connectivity. 5. Retrieval of declarative (sensory) and procedural (motor) memory involves different functional classes of neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Helix, Snails*
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Respiration*