The Denouement of Lonesomeness! : A Glimpse into the Close Knit Association between Snail’s Memory and its state of Social Confinement.
“Memory is perhaps a person’s most distinctive characteristic. We often begin to have memories by simply exposing ourselves into the outer space of life - the environment. Like any other living creature, a snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) doesn’t just live but also learn. However, under external factors and isolation, changes on their cognitive ability may be possible involving their behavior as well.”
Basically, snail breathe using its skin as it directly absorbs air when exposed to high oxygen condition. However, it shifts to aerial respiration by means of opening its lung for the air to pass via pneumostome and this mechanism was further investigated by Sarah Dalesman and Ken Lukowiak in their experiment. Three social conditions plus stressors were also involved to further realize its effect when the snails were isolated.
As a result, snails that have been trained and maintained in groups under low calcium condition showed learning. Additionally, presence of a predator Kairomones greatly enhanced the snail’s capability on forming long-term memory (LTM) and learning as well as when exposed to social groups. But, the twist is, inability to form LTM occured when the snail has been added with predator kairomones under the presence of low calcium because LTM formation has been blocked. This indicates that snails have their optimum levels as to how long they can be able to cope up with stressors as explained by Yerkes-Dodson Law.
Reproductive ability showed no significant effects in terms of low calcium condition. Studies shows that it is probably upon on the isolation in which cognitive function may be altered and that data inconsistencies may be due to other environmental variables in which the snails can become adaptive and adjusted enabling their behavioral mechanism to change.
The study implies that loneliness of snails aren’t good enough for them and that high level of stressors could either increase the snail’s performance to process memory or too much enough making them unable to go on with their cognitive skill. The environment to which they are laid as influenced their over-all mechanism. “Environmental manipulation of socially isolated animals will further elucidate context-specific effects on cognition as found here’ so says Dalesman and Lukowiak.
Author: Nice E. Tambora. BS Biology.
Reference: Dalesman, S. and Lukowiak, K. Social snails : the effect of social isolation on cognition is dependent on environmental context. J.Exp.Biol.214,4179-4185.?