Previous ultrastructural studies using stereological counting techniques, based on assumptions regarding shape, size, and orientation of synapses, have suggested synaptic remodeling occurred at least 24 hr after one-trial passive avoidance training in day-old chicks. The present study estimates the mean synaptic density (Nv syn) in a region of the chick forebrain known to be involved in memory formation, the intermediate and medial hyperstriatum ventrale (IMHV), 1 and 24 hr following one-trial passive avoidance training. A stereological technique, the “disector,” that makes no assumptions about size, shape, and orientation of synapses was used in the synaptic analyses. The density of axospinous synapses increased by approximately 77% at 1 hr posttraining in the right IMHV of chicks (M-trained) that learned to avoid a bitter-tasting bead, compared to those (W-trained controls) that peck a water-coated bead. A measure of the postsynaptic density size, the mean projected height of synapses (H), was 57% smaller 1 hr posttraining in the right IMHV of M-trained chicks. These differences were not found at 24 hr posttraining. We suggest that structural modification of synapses may be a key part of the processes involved in short-term memory formation.