Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 87–92 | Cite as

Central neural motor programs underlying short- and long-term patterns ofLimulus respiratory activity

  • Gordon A. Wyse
  • Dan H. Sanes
  • Winsor H. WatsonIII


  1. 1.

    Isolated, unstimulated abdominal ventral nerve cords ofLimulus display patterns of motor output characteristic of rhythmic gill ventilation and of gill cleaning (Fig. 2).

  2. 2.

    The motor output may occur as long-term patterns of alternate gill cleaning and ventilation (Fig. 3), or alternate gill cleaning and tonic activity (Fig. 4).

  3. 3.

    Two patterns of gill cleaning motor output, apparently corresponding to the left-leading and right-leading patterns observed in intact animals, persist in the isolated ventral cord (Fig. 4). These two patterns occur with the same rough alternation as in intact animals.

  4. 4.

    Thus all the patterns of gill-plate movement in intact animals, except those involving swimming, have underlying motor programs that are expressed in isolated nerve cords in the absence of stimulation or of sensory feedback. These findings extend the concept of central pattern generators to include complex and long-duration patterns of stereotyped behavior such as those underlying the movements of theLimulus abdominal appendages.



Pattern Generator Respiratory Activity Intact Animal Nerve Cord Sensory Feedback 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



central nervous system


central pattern generator


external branchial nerve


internal branchial nerve


left-leading pattern of gill cleaning


medial branchial nerve


right-leading pattern of gill cleaning


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon A. Wyse
    • 1
  • Dan H. Sanes
    • 1
  • Winsor H. WatsonIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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