Associative Learning in Invertebrates

Romuald Nargeot and Alexis Bédécarrats

in The Oxford Handbook of Invertebrate Neurobiology

Published in print April 2019 | ISBN: 9780190456757
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190456764 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Associative Learning in Invertebrates

Show Summary Details


Behaviors of invertebrates can be modified by associative learning in a similar manner to those of vertebrates. Two simple forms of associative learning, Pavlovian and operant conditioning, allow animals to establish a predictive relationship between two events. Here we summarize five decades of studies of behavioral, cellular, and subcellular changes that are induced by these two learning paradigms in different invertebrate animal models. A comparative description of circuitry, neuronal elements, and properties that contribute to these conditioning procedures will be drawn to decipher common and distinguishing features of the learning processes. We will illustrate that similar circuits, synaptic and neuronal membrane plasticity, and similar molecular sites of detection of association are implicated in both forms of conditioning. However, evidence will also suggest that passively responding and endogenous dynamic properties of central networks and/or their constituent neurons might differentially contribute to Pavlovian and operant learning.

Keywords: Pavlovian conditioning; operant conditioning; learning and memory; networks; central pattern generator; intrinsic membrane properties; plasticity; serotonin; dopamine; NMDA receptors

Article.  15085 words. 

Subjects: Invertebrate Neurobiology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.