By Stanley C. Ratner (auth.), W. C. Corning, S. C. Ratner (eds.)
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Extra info for Chemistry of Learning: Invertebrate Research
At the moment we are doing preliminary work with these procedures and hope to initiate experiments soon. Before one can undertake these hybridization experiments, it is necessary to determine which brain areas make important contributions during learning behavior. Several years ago we began a research program to uncover these areas. We have conducted 11 learning experiments (one-way active avoidance) with rats using three different methodologies: 1. with normal animals 2. with magnesium pemoline to enhance learning capacities (Plotnikoff, 1966) 3.
Is it binary, trinary, or something more esoteric? Unfortunately, I don't know how to do critical experiments in this area, and, again, this must be attacked at many levels. Thus, if one of you could find some means of determining the code by which information is stored in a single cell, this would be a tremendous step forward. More specifically, is only one bit stored in a single adapted cell or at a single synapse, or is much more than that stored? Once we can say meaningful things about this question, I am sure it will become much easier to determine the chemical basis of memory storage.
The avoidance aspect of T-maze learning is inadequately covered in Fig. 1. Another point that should be emphasized is that the unconditioned response UR of the present model involves the whole organism's moving toward or away from the unconditioned stimulus US. The unconditioned response in question is not a segmental response such as an eye blink or knee jerk. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to condition single, segmental responses such as the knee jerk or pupillary response. For example, Francis Young (1958) in a series of well-controlled experiments has shown that the simple pupillary response, contraction to a bright light, is not conditionable.