Rhythm Generation in Young Xenopus Tadpoles
Behavior of just-hatched frog tadpoles and the neuronal networks underlying it.
Just after they hatch from the egg, tadpoles of the frog Xenopus can swim when touched and make stronger struggling movements when held. They provide one of the simplest organisms where the networks’ underlying behavior can be studied. Models of swimming networks rely on the interaction of pacemaker and network rhythm generation based on reciprocal inhibition and rebound. The network can be reconfigured during continuous stimulation when some neurons active during swimming become silent and new neurons are recruited, so the network generates the slower struggling pattern.
The spinal cord of the adult mammal has proved very difficult to investigate and understand. This is the reason to look for simpler, related systems which might be more accessible. The hatchling frog tadpole is a vertebrate like us, but its nervous system has only just begun to generate...
KeywordsExcitatory Neuron Rhythm Generation Reciprocal Inhibition Tiger Salamander Frog Tadpole
- Coghill GE (1929) Anatomy and the problem of behaviour. Cambridge University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Dale N, Roberts A (1985) Dual component amino – acid – mediated synaptic potentials: excitatory drive for swimming in Xenopus embryos. J Physiol (Lond) 363:35–59Google Scholar
- Roberts A (1989) A mechanism for switching in the nervous system: turning ON swimming in a frog tadpole. In: Durbin R, Mial C, Mitchson G (eds) The computing neuron. Addison Wesley, Wokingham, pp 229–243Google Scholar
- Roberts A, Dale N, Soffe SR (1984) Sustained responses to brief stimuli: swimming in Xenopus embryos. J Exp Biol 112:321–335Google Scholar
- Tunstall MJ, Roberts A (1994) A longitudinal gradient of synaptic drive in the spinal cord of Xenopus embryos and its role in co-ordination of swimming. J Physiol (Lond) 474:393–405Google Scholar