Green tea has been used as a medicine in East Asia for thousands of years. Plant-derived compounds called flavanols, which are included in green tea, may have potentials to help maintain healthy brain function. In this chapter, we review the effects of flavanols, e.g. epicatechin (EpiC), on cognitive ability in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. In this decade, the Lukowiak’s group has tested the effects of EpiC on cognition ability in Lymnaea. In a Lymnaea model system, they showed that EpiC and EpiC-containing foods have a rapid and activity-dependent effect enhancing the formation of long-term memory (LTM) following operant conditioning of aerial respiratory behavior. In the last part of this chapter, we also introduce our study for the effects of EpiC on LTM formation in another model system in Lymnaea. This study showed that EpiC increases the persistence of LTM formed by classical conditioning of feeding behavior, and suggested that EpiC alters some electrophysiological properties of a neuron in the feeding system.
Part of the book: Update on Malacology