Why did Kandel use Aplysia?

After an extensive search of candidate species, Kandel settled on Aplysia, which offered three major advantages: its nervous system was relatively simple, with a small number of cells; the cells are unusually large and accessible, enabling intracellular electrophysiological recording; and many of the cells are …

What did Kandel learn from the shock studies that were conducted on sea slugs Aplysia )?

With the map of the slug nervous system, Kandel and his colleagues went on to discover that learning modified the strength of the connections between nerve cells.

Why did Kandel focus on studying sea slugs?

Kandel decided that if he was to have any success, he needed to study something far simpler than the human brain. He settled on a group of sea slugs in the genus Aplysia that are famous for having some of the largest nerve cells in the world—so big, in fact, that you can see them without a microscope.

What did Kandel discover?

His breakthrough came in 1970 while he was at New York University studying a marine snail with a simple nervous system. Eric Kandel found that as the snail learned, chemical signals changed the structure of the connections between cells, known as synapses, where the signals are sent and received.

Does Aplysia have a brain?

The sea slug Aplysia californica, a red, green or brown hermaphrodite that can grow up to 16 inches long, has the biggest brain cells, or neurons, in the animal kingdom, at up to a millimeter long. These marine snails also have just 20,000 or so neurons, compared with the 100 billion in people.

Why did Eric Kandel get the Nobel Prize for poking sea slugs?

Kandel won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with Aplysia – or more specifically, for his work on the biological mechanisms of memory storage.

How did Eric Kandel classically condition the animal?

Kandel and colleagues used preparations of Aplysia californica where individuals were restrained in small aquariums in a manner that the gill was exposed. A tactile stimulus was administered to the siphon and elicited the gill and siphon withdrawal reflex.

Why is the sea slug Aplysia a strategic model used to study memory?

Due to its simple neuroanatomy and easily-observed learning behaviors, Aplysia is a valuable model organism that allowed researchers to unravel the molecular basis of learning using targeted, reductionist strategies to delineate the pathways by which LTP occurs.

Is Eric Kandel still alive?

Kandel has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1974. He has also been at Columbia University since 1974 and lives in New York City.

Can you eat Aplysia?

Aplysia species, when threatened, frequently release clouds of ink, it is believed in order to blind the attacker (though they are in fact considered edible by relatively few species).

What is the Aplysia experiment?

Aplysia californica is used in neuroscience research for studies of the cellular basis of behavior including: habituation, dishabituation, and sensitization, because of the simplicity and relatively large size of the underlying neural circuitry.

Why is Aplysia good to study?

The nice feature that makes Aplysia so attractive for neurobiologists is its large brain cells (neurons). The cell body of one neuron can measure up to 1mm in diameter, which makes it relatively easy to study the physiology of these cells to find out how they accomplish learning.