Memory transmission following amputation and nerve regeneration in planaria

Pravinbabu, Pooja (2018) Memory transmission following amputation and nerve regeneration in planaria. UG thesis, Azim Premji University.

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Planaria, with a primitive nervous system, are a well-known model organism in the area of regeneration studies. They can regenerate any body part including brain (central nervous system). Thus, planaria serves as an interesting model organism to study regeneration and memory of planaria after regeneration. Planaria can be trained using associative and conditional learning paradigms and thus can be trained to move towards a particular direction in a Y-shaped maze. Planaria can be amputated at any location on their elongated body (~1-3 cm) and each resulting body part will regenerate into a fully formed organism. This study examines whether the memory formed after training is maintained in all amputated parts following regeneration. Image processing algorithms were used to precisely measure organism size and follow regeneration. Following amputation and a 2-week regeneration period, it was found that the resultant progeny maintained their training – i.e. the directional bias imposed on them. Results indicate that neither memory formation nor inheritance of memories is stored in a particular part of the body of planaria. Variable size of initial amputations does not show significant changes in memory retention in regenerated organisms. In many other organisms memory is located primarily in the brain, however, in planaria, this paradigm does not appear to hold.

Item Type: Thesis (UG)
Authors: Pravinbabu, Pooja
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Life sciences; biology
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Arts and Sciences
Full Text Status: Restricted
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