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June 1968

Chemistry of Learning: Invertebrate Research.

Arch Neurol. 1968;18(6):720. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00470360142023

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During the current decade, there has been a rapid development in brain research dealing with the chemistry of learning and memory. Much of this work has been performed on invertebrates, particularly planaria (flatworms). Chemistry of Learning summarizes this research, for it is the published proceedings of a symposium on invertebrate learning held in September 1966. As such, there is no attempt to review the fairly extensive studies carried out on vertebrates, eg, the use of inhibitors of protein synthesis in mice and goldfish. However, some references to the vertebrates are quoted.

The majority of papers presented deal with the planarian, encompassing its ecology, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and learning. This animal has received a great deal of attention, primarily because of the reports that (1) the planaria retain a learned task following regeneration, (2) ribonuclease disrupts retention of the learned task, and (3) a transformation of memory is accomplished when naive

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