Comparative study of environmental factors influencing motor task learning and memory retention in sighted and blind crayfish
Version of Record online: 20 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Brain and Behavior
Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 4–13, January 2013
How to Cite
Brain and Behavior 2013; 3(1):4–13.
- Issue online: 9 JAN 2013
- Version of Record online: 20 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 7 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 24 MAY 2012
- G. Ribble Fellowship
- central nervous system;
In classical conditioning, an alteration in response occurs when two stimuli are regularly paired in close succession. An area of particular research interest is classical conditioning with a chemical signal and visual and/or tactile stimuli as the unconditional stimuli, to test manipulative and motor behaviors in a learning paradigm. A classical learning task chamber was developed to examine learning trends in a sighted surface-dwelling crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, and in a blind cave-dwelling crayfish, Orconectes australis packardi. We examined whether learning is influenced by environmental factors and/or reliance on different primary sensory modalities. Crayfish were trained to manipulate a large, cumbersome cheliped through a small access point to obtain a food reward. In both species, acquisition of the learning task was rapid when they were in nonstressed conditions. The blind crayfish tested in low white light did not successfully complete the task, suggesting a stress response.