Sunday post: Chocolate and snails

I was reading around the web today, and found this interesting article:

Chocolate makes snails smarter also on Science Daily

Some researchers have been working with whether certain foods can in fact affect memory, specifically a chemical found in chocolate, Epicatechin.

This is a flavonoid, which are used in plants for colouring, attracting bacteria to their roots for symbiosis (Post coming up on that soon), UV filtering, chemical signalling, and a load of other important functions.

Anyway, these researchers decided to test out a hypothesis that this chemical can affect memory.  So, they gave some to snails to see if their memory of a training exercise improved.

They trained the snails to keep their breathing tubes closed, and then tested their memory the next day, to see if the snails remembered the training.  Usually, this sort of memory in snails lasts around 3 hours, but the snails remembered it the next day.

They then attempted something called extinction, which means that you replace the old training with a new one, but the snails still carried out the previous behaviour.

This indicates that this chemical can improve long term memory formation, so, I think next time I am revising, I will make sure to have a very big stack of chocolate next to me!

Also, now I have an even better excuse for accidentally eating an entire pack of After Eights!

Further Reading: http://jeb.biologists.org/content/215/20/3566.abstract (full article is behind a paywall unfortunately)

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Sunday post: Chocolate and snails

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s