Analysis of Hydra Contraction Behaviour

  • Cloe Taddei-Ferretti
  • L. Cordella
  • S. Chillemi


It has been pointed out (Rushforth, 1971, 1973) that the effect of light on contractions of Hydra can be: 1) excitatory, when a contraction occurs within some minutes after a light pulse and is followed by a positive phototropic movement (Haug, 1933); 2) inhibitory, when a light pulse interrupts a contraction in progress, anticipating the next one (Passano and McCullough, 1964) or when the contraction frequency momentarily decreases after a transition from darkness to light (Passano and McCullough, 1964: Borner and Tardent, 1971). The contraction-relaxation behaviour is due to interactions among different pacemakers: excitatory interactions among tentacle pulses and their excitation of contraction pulses (CP’s) (Rushforth and Burke, 1971; Rushforth, 1973) and mutual inhibition between CP’s and rhythmic potentials (RP’s) (Passano and McCullough, 1963). The polarity of Hydra is reflected also in the location of the pacemakers of RP’s and CP’s in the lower column and in the sub-hypostome, respectively (Passano and McCullough, 1963). At this point, we felt that it would be interesting to record the reaction time after single or repetitive light pulses of different polarity, intensity and duration and to investigate the details of the inhibitory effect of light. In addition one could examine the shape of the bioelectric events at the two ends of the animal in undisturbed conditions and under electrical stimulation of either polarity.


Light Pulse Positive Stimulus Phase Response Curve Trigger Pulse Photic Stimulation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cloe Taddei-Ferretti
    • 1
  • L. Cordella
    • 1
  • S. Chillemi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio di CiberneticaC.N.R.Arco Felice, NapoliItalia

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