Presynaptic facilitation as a mechanism for behavioral sensitization in Aplysia

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Science  10 Dec 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4270, pp. 1176-1178
DOI: 10.1126/science.11560


Sensitization is an elementary form of nonassociative learning, related to behavioral arousal, in which a strong stimulus facilitates a reflex response. Studies of the neural circuit of the gill-withdrawal reflex in the isolated abdominal ganglion on Aplysia indicate that short-term sensitization is due to presynaptic facilitation. The facilitation results in a sudden increase in the amount of neurotransmitter released by the sensory neurons at their synapses with motor neurons.