Extrinsic Inputs and Flexibility in the Motor Output of the Lobster Pyloric Neural Network
In recent years, our understanding of motor behavior in terms of single-cell activity has been primarily concerned with determining the functional structure of central pattern generators (CPGs) (Selverston, 1980). To analyze such a structure, i.e., to identify the neuronal components and determine the mutual interactions between these components, “naked” CPGs (i.e., completely deafferented CPGs) must be used. Nevertheless, the patterned activity that can be recorded from such an isolated CPG is relatively stereotyped, and until now, little was known about the mechanisms by which such a network could exhibit flexibility in its output in the intact animal. The goal of this chapter is to show how extrinsic inputs to a well-known CPG (the pyloric network of Crustacea, see Chapter 3, this volume) can continuously control the expression of the intrinsic properties of the neurons and thereby continuously “rewire” the network.
KeywordsCentral Pattern Generator Pacemaker Neuron Pacemaker Potential Pyloric Dilator Stomatogastric Ganglion
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