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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)
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)
SUMMARY 1. Intracellular recordings were made from identified mechanosensory neurones (T and P cells) and longitudinal muscle motor neurones of leeches Hirudo medicinalis and Macrobdella decora while the skin was electrically stimulated to produce local bending responses. 2. The stimulus intensity required to produce local bending was found to activate 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)
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)
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)
Segmental variation in identified neurons may provide an opportunity to examine extrinsic influences on neuronal phenotype, since segmentally homologous neurons must contain much the same intrinsic information, having arisen from very similar or identical precursors. Two large serotonergic Retzius (Rz) cells are found in each segmental ganglion of the leech(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)
SUMMARY (1) A neurone (designated cell 204) has been identified in the segmental ganglia of the leech which, when stimulated intracellularly in isolated nerve cords, reliably initiates and maintains the neuronal activity pattern characteristic of swimming. In a minimally dissected leech, cell 204 activity results in normal swimming movements. (2) Cell 204(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)