Avoidance Learning in the planaria

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Prados, J., Jordan, L., Alcala, J. A. and Urcelay, G. P. Avoidance Learning in the planaria.
AuthorsPrados, J., Jordan, L., Alcala, J. A. and Urcelay, G. P.
Abstract

The objective of the present work was to model the development of avoidance learning and its extinction in planarians (Schmidtea mediterranea). Based on previous experiments showing conditioned place preference, we developed a procedure to investigate conditioned place avoidance (CPA) using shock as an unconditioned stimulus (US). In Experiment 1, we assessed the unconditioned properties of different shock intensities by measuring post shock activity. In two subsequent experiments we investigated CPA using different designs, surfaces as conditioned stimuli (CSs; rough and smooth), and different US intensities (5V and 10V). In all experiments, we observed the successful development of CPA. In addition, we observed that CPA was stronger with higher shock intensities, and that a rough surface is best at entering into an association with the shock. Finally, we also observed extinction of CPA. The observation of CPA in flatworms validates the planaria as a pre-clinical model for the study of avoidance learning, a key feature of anxiety disorders.

KeywordsConditioned Place Avoidance; Planarians; Anxiety related disorders
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Deposited22 Mar 2023
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/9x86q/avoidance-learning-in-the-planaria

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