Like vertebrates, sea slugs engage in simple forms of learning and memory, and they have provided valuable insights into synaptic plasticity.1 Researchers cultured a bifurcated sensory neuron with two motor neurons and found that repeated stimulation of a synapse on one of the motor neurons but not the other specifically strengthened that synapse.2

          Infographic showing the selective strengthening of synapses that received stimulation.
© ikumi kayama, studio kayama


  1. Kandel ER. The molecular biology of memory storage: A dialogue between genes and synapses. Science. 2001; 294:1030-1038.
  2. Martin KC, et al. Synapse-specific, long-term facilitation of aplysia sensory to motor synapses: A function for local protein synthesis in memory storage. Cell. 1997; 91:927-938.

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