Japanese researchers have created a "Pavlov's cockroach" by demonstrating classical conditioning of salivation in cockroaches.
The study led by Makoto Mizunami and colleagues at Tohoku University marks the first time such sophisticated neural control of autonomic functioning has been demonstrated in a species other than dogs and humans.
The researchers said although the underlying neural mechanisms remain elusive, the results provide a useful model for studying the cellular basis of conditioning of salivation in the simpler nervous system of insects.
The research is presented in the current issue of the online journal PLoS One.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Explore further: Study shows exception to rule of lifespan for fliers, burrowers and tree dwellers