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Stress makes snails forgetful
Date:11/6/2013

after they had received their training. Memory was considered to be present if there was a reduction in the number of times they opened their breathing holes. The researchers also assessed memory by monitoring neural activity in the brain.

Immediately before training, the snails were exposed to two different stressful experiences, low calcium - which is stressful as calcium is necessary for healthy shells - and overcrowding by other pond snails.

When faced with the stressors individually, the pond snails had reduced ability to form long term memory, but were still able to learn and form short and intermediate term memory lasting from a few minutes to hours. However, when both stressors were experienced at the same time, results showed that they had additive effects on the snails' ability to form memory and all learning and memory processes were blocked.

Future work will focus on the effects of stress on different populations of pond snail.


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Contact: Jo Bowler
j.bowler@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-927-22062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

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