31 Dec '11, 3am

Wild Shores of Singapore: Sea slugs help humans get smarter!

Wild Shores of Singapore: Sea slugs help humans get smarter!

Using sea slugs as models, scientists someday may be able to design learning protocols that improve long-term memory formation in humans, a new study suggests. The researchers used information about biochemical pathways in the brain of the sea slug Aplysia to design a computer model that identified the times when the mollusk’s brain is primed for learning. They tested the model by submitting the animals to a series of training sessions, involving electric shocks, and found that Aplysia experienced a significant increase in memory formation when the sessions were conducted during the peak periods predicted by the model. The proof-of-principle study may someday help scientists discover ways to improve human memory, the researchers said. "This is very impressive," David Glanzman, a neurobiologist at the University of California Los Angeles, said of the study, in which he was ...

Full article: http://wildshores.blogspot.com/2011/12/sea-slugs-help-hum...

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