Latent memory for sensitization in Aplysia

Gary T. Philips, Ekaterina I. Tzvetkova, Stephane Marinesco, Thomas J. Carew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the analysis of memory it is commonly observed that, even after a memory is apparently forgotten, its latent presence can still be revealed in a subsequent learning task. Although well established on a behavioral level, the mechanisms underlying latent memory are not well understood. To begin to explore these mechanisms, we have used Aplysia, a model system that permits the simultaneous study of memory at the behavioral, cellular, and molecular levels. We first demonstrate that robust latent memory is induced by long-term sensitization training of the tail-elicited siphon withdrawal reflex. It is revealed by its ability to facilitate the subsequent induction of three mechanistically distinct temporal domains of sensitization memory: short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term memory. Under our training conditions, the latent memory persists for at least 2 d following the decay of original memory expression but appears to be gone by 4 d. Interestingly, we also find that latent memory is induced even in the absence of overt memory for the original training. These findings now permit the analysis of the cellular and molecular architecture of a common feature of learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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