Debate

Frontiers in Zoology

, 7:29

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Invertebrate neurophylogeny: suggested terms and definitions for a neuroanatomical glossary

  • Stefan RichterAffiliated withUniversität Rostock, Institut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie Email author 
  • , Rudi LoeselAffiliated withRWTH Aachen, Institute of Biology II, Department of Developmental Biology and Morphology of Animals
  • , Günter PurschkeAffiliated withUniversität Osnabrück, Fachbereich Biologie/Chemie, AG Zoologie
  • , Andreas Schmidt-RhaesaAffiliated withBiozentrum Grindel/Zoological Museum
  • , Gerhard ScholtzAffiliated withHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Biologie - Vergleichende Zoologie
  • , Thomas StachAffiliated withFreie Universität Berlin, Zoologie - Systematik und Evolutionsforschung
  • , Lars VogtAffiliated withUniversität Bonn, Institut für Evolutionsbiologie und Ökologie
  • , Andreas WanningerAffiliated withUniversity of Copenhagen, Department of Biology, Research Group for Comparative Zoology
  • , Georg BrenneisAffiliated withUniversität Rostock, Institut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle ZoologieHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Biologie - Vergleichende Zoologie
    • , Carmen DöringAffiliated withUniversität Osnabrück, Fachbereich Biologie/Chemie, AG Zoologie
    • , Simone FallerAffiliated withRWTH Aachen, Institute of Biology II, Department of Developmental Biology and Morphology of Animals
    • , Martin FritschAffiliated withUniversität Rostock, Institut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie
    • , Peter GrobeAffiliated withUniversität Bonn, Institut für Evolutionsbiologie und Ökologie
    • , Carsten M HeuerAffiliated withRWTH Aachen, Institute of Biology II, Department of Developmental Biology and Morphology of Animals
    • , Sabrina KaulAffiliated withFreie Universität Berlin, Zoologie - Systematik und Evolutionsforschung
    • , Ole S MøllerAffiliated withUniversität Rostock, Institut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie
    • , Carsten HG MüllerAffiliated withErnst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Zoologisches Institut, Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie
    • , Verena RiegerAffiliated withErnst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Zoologisches Institut, Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie
    • , Birgen H RotheAffiliated withBiozentrum Grindel/Zoological Museum
    • , Martin EJ StegnerAffiliated withUniversität Rostock, Institut für Biowissenschaften, Abteilung für Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie
    • , Steffen HarzschAffiliated withErnst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Zoologisches Institut, Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie

Abstract

Background

Invertebrate nervous systems are highly disparate between different taxa. This is reflected in the terminology used to describe them, which is very rich and often confusing. Even very general terms such as 'brain', 'nerve', and 'eye' have been used in various ways in the different animal groups, but no consensus on the exact meaning exists. This impedes our understanding of the architecture of the invertebrate nervous system in general and of evolutionary transformations of nervous system characters between different taxa.

Results

We provide a glossary of invertebrate neuroanatomical terms with a precise and consistent terminology, taxon-independent and free of homology assumptions. This terminology is intended to form a basis for new morphological descriptions. A total of 47 terms are defined. Each entry consists of a definition, discouraged terms, and a background/comment section.

Conclusions

The use of our revised neuroanatomical terminology in any new descriptions of the anatomy of invertebrate nervous systems will improve the comparability of this organ system and its substructures between the various taxa, and finally even lead to better and more robust homology hypotheses.