Environmentally relevant stressors alter memory formation in the pond snail Lymnaea

Ken Lukowiak, Hiroshi Sunada, Morgan Teskey, Kai Lukowiak, Sarah Dalesman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

54 Citations (SciVal)
216 Downloads (Pure)


Stress alters adaptive behaviours such as learning and memory. Stressors can either enhance or diminish learning, memory formation and/or memory recall. We focus attention here on how environmentally relevant stressors alter learning, memory and forgetting in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Operant conditioning of aerial respiration causes associative learning that may lead to long-term memory (LTM) formation. However, individual ecologically relevant stressors, combinations of stressors, and bio-active substances can alter whether or not learning occurs or memory forms. While the behavioural memory phenotype may be similar as a result of exposure to different stressors, how each stressor alters memory formation may occur differently. In addition, when a combination of stressors are presented it is difficult to predict ahead of time what the outcome will be regarding memory formation. Thus, how combinations of stressors act is an emergent property of how the snail perceives the stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2014


  • Environmental impact
  • Long-Term memory
  • Memory formation
  • Operant conditioning
  • Social snails
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Learning/physiology
  • Central Pattern Generators/physiology
  • Calcium
  • Lymnaea/physiology
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Social Isolation/psychology
  • Crowding/psychology
  • Animals
  • Memory, Long-Term/physiology
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Adaptation, Psychological


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