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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)
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)
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)
Central pattern generators (CPGs) control both swimming and crawling in the medicinal leech. To investigate whether the neurons comprising these two CPGs are dedicated or multifunctional, we used voltage-sensitive dye imaging to record from approximately 80% of the approximately 400 neurons in a segmental ganglion. By eliciting swimming and crawling in the(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)
Studying the neural basis of decision-making has largely taken one of two paths: one has involved cell-by-cell characterization of neuronal circuits in invertebrates; and the other, single-unit studies of monkeys performing cognitive tasks. Here I shall attempt to bring these two disparate approaches together.
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)
Crawling in the medicinal leech has previously been thought to require sensory feedback because the intact behavior is strongly modulated by sensory feedback and because semi-intact preparations will only crawl if they can move freely. Here we show that an isolated leech nerve cord can produce a crawling motor pattern similar to the one seen in semi-intact(More)