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The medicinal leech has served as an important experimental preparation for neuroscience research since the late 19th century. Initial anatomical and developmental studies dating back more than 100 years ago were followed by behavioral and electrophysiological investigations in the first half of the 20th century. More recently, intense studies of the(More)
Dendritic processing of glutamatergic synaptic inputs was investigated in the anterior pagoda cell of leech. We observed that below spike threshold, the amplitude of individual EPSPs decreased with hyperpolarization and that simultaneous stimulation of pairs of synaptic inputs leads to the supralinear summation of EPSPs. Voltage-clamp measurements revealed(More)
We investigated decision-making in the leech nervous system by stimulating identical sensory inputs that sometimes elicit crawling and other times swimming. Neuronal populations were monitored with voltage-sensitive dyes after each stimulus. By quantifying the discrimination time of each neuron, we found single neurons that discriminate before the two(More)
Decision making can be a complex task involving a sequence of subdecisions. For example, we decide to pursue a goal (e.g., get something to eat), then decide how to accomplish that goal (e.g., go to a restaurant), and then make a sequence of more specific plans (e.g., which restaurant to go to, how to get there, what to order, etc.). In characterizing the(More)
To form accurate representations of the world, sensory systems must accurately encode stimuli in the spike trains of populations of neurons. The nature of such neuronal population codes is beginning to be understood. We characterize the entire sensory system underlying a simple withdrawal reflex in the leech, a bend directed away from the site of a light(More)
The swimming movement of the leech is produced by an ensemble of bilaterally symmetric, rhythmically active pairs of motor neurons present in each segmental ganglion of the ventral nerve cord. These motor neurons innervate the longitudinal muscles in dorsal or ventral sectors of the segmental body wall. Their duty cycles are phase-locked in a manner such(More)
In the leech Hirudo medicinalis inhibitory motor neurons to longitudinal muscles make central inhibitory connections with excitatory motor neurons to the same muscles. We have used a variety of physiological and morphological methods to characterize these inhibitory connections. The efficacy of the transmission between the inhibitors and the excitors was(More)
The effect of feeding behavior on other behaviors (swimming, crawling and shortening) was investigated in the leech, Hirudo medicinalis. The stimulus locations and intensities required to produce mechanically elicited behaviors were first determined in the non-feeding leech. Stimuli were delivered while the leech was in various body positions to determine(More)
We present and analyze a model of a two-cell reciprocally inhibitory network that oscillates. The principal mechanism of oscillation is short-term synaptic depression. Using a simple model of depression and analyzing the system in certain limits, we can derive analytical expressions for various features of the oscillation, including the parameter regime in(More)