A long-standing debate in neuroscience is whether classical and operant conditioning are mechanistically similar or distinct. The feeding behavior of Aplysia provides a model system suitable for addressing this question. Here we report that classical and operant conditioning of feeding behavior differentially modify the intrinsic excitability of neuron B51, a critical element for the expression of the feeding response, thus revealing that these two forms of associative learning differ at the cellular level.
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We thank H.N. Nguyen for training many of the animals included in this study. This work was supported by the US National Institute of Mental Health (grant MH 58321).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Classical conditioning training protocols. (PDF 196 kb)
Classical conditioning did not alter the CS-evoked inhibitory synaptic input to neuron B51. (PDF 192 kb)
Classical conditioning did not alter either the resting membrane potential or the input resistance of neuron B51. (PDF 291 kb)
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Lorenzetti, F., Mozzachiodi, R., Baxter, D. et al. Classical and operant conditioning differentially modify the intrinsic properties of an identified neuron. Nat Neurosci 9, 17–19 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1593
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