A learned change of response to inedible food in Aplysia

Behav Neural Biol. 1983 Sep;39(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/s0163-1047(83)90535-6.


Aplysia fasciata attempt to bite and swallow food wrapped in a plastic net, tasting food through holes in the net. Net-enclosed food cannot be swallowed, and becomes cyclically lodged and pushed out of the buccal cavity. Aplysia gradually modify their response to this food, and eventually cease to respond. Twenty-four hours following training, memory is maintained, as shown by savings upon retraining. An essential component of the behavioral plasticity is food becoming stuck within the buccal cavity: when the lips are stimulated without allowing food to enter the buccal cavity, animals stop responding, but training takes longer, and memory is not retained. Savings upon retraining are contingent upon temporal pairing of food upon the lips and stimuli from within the buccal cavity: when lip stimuli and the experience of food stuck within the buccal cavity occur sequentially (rather than simultaneously), 24 hr later, animals are not significantly different from naive subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aplysia
  • Conditioning, Operant*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Taste*