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Heterostimic Enhancement of a Not So Fixed Action Pattern

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The swim response of the nudibranch Tritonia diomedea has been used as a model in the study of the neural control of rhythmic behaviour. Sensory, interneuronal, and motor elements of the Tritonia swim neural network (SNN) have been found. The swim response is not fixed, but can be modified by experience in a variety of simple stimulus-exposure learning paradigms. For example, when animals were given a training stimulus to produce swimming at one site, swims produced at another site by a test stimulus five minutes later were enhanced. Furthermore, not one, but multiple components of the response were enhanced by training of this kind. The accessibility of the Tritonia nervous system along with existing knowledge of the SNN will facilitate a study into the neural basis of this behavioural plasticity. Activation of the swim neural program in the isolated brain was used as a reduced-preparation analog of the training stimulus in behavioural experiments. Five minutes after swim neural program activation, modifications in the SNN were found. Neuronal modifications occurred in all parts of the SNN, and many types of modifications were found. Thus, multiple cellular modifications in the SNN produce multiple changes in the behaviour. The challenge of a system's analysis of memory will be to causally relate these two levels of study, and the possibilities for doing so are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: (Central Research Laboratory, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Amagasaki, Hyogo, 661, Japan and Friday Harbor Laboratories, Friday Harbor, WA, U.S.A.

10.1163/156854293X00331
/content/journals/10.1163/156854293x00331
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/content/journals/10.1163/156854293x00331
1993-01-01
2016-12-04

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