Cognition, Behavior, and Memory
Author: María Luz Iglesias | Email: Iglesiasmarialuz@gmail.com
María Luz Iglesias 1°, Arturo Gabriel Romano 1°
1° IFIBYNE, UBA – CONICET
This study explores the impact of environmental enrichment (EE) on short- and long-term memory in Neohelice granulata crabs using a Pavlovian contextual conditioning model. While the cognitive effects of inhabiting enriched surroundings have been extensively studied in mammals, little is known about their influence on crustaceans. We examined memory performance in crabs housed in enriched and standard environments.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin present in vertebrates and is linked to memory enhancement. Previous studies have shown how BDNF expression increases in mice exposed to EE. We conducted a western blot analysis using BDNF antibodies on brain extracts from mice, flies, and crabs to compare the presence of neurotrophins in these models. An adsorption experiment was conducted to assess antibody specificity. Additionally, we performed an in silico comparative analysis of neurotrophins from humans, mice, flies, and the crab species Eriocheir sinensis. This comparison revealed similarities in neurotrophins across species, highlighting the conservation of these neurotrophic factors.
Our study provides novel insights into the effects of EE on memory in crabs, thereby expanding our understanding of cognitive responses to environmental stimuli in non-traditional model organisms. This research paves the way for further exploration of neuroplasticity in crustaceans and contributes to the broader understanding of memory mechanisms.