Lowering the Threshold for Inhibition in the L29/L30 Mediated Circuit of Aplysia califomica May Induce Sensitization
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Central to the study of the neurosciences is the study of specific mechanisms underlying behavior. The species Aplysia californica, a large marine mollusk, is a model applicable to this study, and specifically to the study concepts in learning and memory, specifically inhibition, sensitization, and metaplasticity. Intact Aplysia in a freely moving environment were tail tested for the Siphon Withdrawal response in three experiments. Experiment 1 determined that the use of a water jet is not a sensitizing stimulus. Results confirmed that the water jet is not sensitizing. Experiment 2 trained the subjects with the water jet under conditions of normal and reduced inhibition in order to determine if a lowering of inhibition would induce sensitization by a normally non-sensitizing stimulus. Results did not support this hypothesis; however, some interesting trends were observed in the data that may be applied to further research in this field. Experiment 3 attempted to continue to examine the hypothesis of Experiment 2 under a different set of conditions.