Sensitization in Aplysia: restoration of transmission in synapses inactivated by long-term habituation

Science  27 Jul 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4404, pp. 417-419
DOI: 10.1126/science.451611


Long-term habituation of a simple withdrawal reflex in Aplysia leads to an inactivation of synaptic transmission between identified sensory and gill motor neurons that persists for more than 3 weeks. A single sensitizing stimulus rapidly reactivates both the depressed behavioral response and the inactivated synaptic transmission. Thus sensitization, a simple competitive form of learning, provides a mechanism whereby changing environmental demands can rapidly override the long-term memory of habituation.

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