(CNN)It's the kind of study science fiction dreams are made of: A team of neurobiologists at UCLA "transplanted" a memory from the nervous system of one snail into another.
In order to do this, the team repeatedly "trained" a snail with electric shocks.
"We induced a very simple kind of memory in the snails called sensitization," said David L. Glanzman, a member of UCLA's department of Integrative Biology and Physiology and the lead author of the study.
He likens sensitization to experiencing an earthquake or other physically jarring event. "You'd be very jumpy for a time afterward," he said.
Glanzman and his team gave the snails a series of electric shocks to their tails. "The result is, their reflexes were greatly enhanced. If we touched their skin, they'll contract very strongly."
When the snails were good and jumpy, the team extracted RNA from their nervous systems and injected it into untrained snails.
"Twenty-four hours later, we tested the reflexes of those snails, and they showed the same reflexes of those that had been given electrical shocks," Glanzman said.
Their findings were published this week in the journal