Overview: Progress in Insect Neuroanatomy
Over the last several years, there have been fundamental changes in approaches to insect neuroscience that have blurred the distinctions between neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and neurophysiology. As is made evident by the work presented throughout this volume, many recent advances in insect neuroscience have stemmed from the convergence of objectives in these three fields: the acquisition of comprehensive anatomical, biochemical, and physiological profiles of individual neurons as well as small systems of functionally related neurons. Recent progress toward this end has been fueled by extensive application of immunochemistry to the study of insect nervous systems. The papers presented herein reveal aspects of the anatomy and biochemistry of both new and previously identified neurons and neurosecretory sites by means of immunocytochemistry. Moreover, the physiology of several of the neurosecretory sites was probed through immunochemical or biochemical detection of neurosecretion. Finally, as indicated by the work presented in this volume, recent progress in insect neuroanatomy has also provided insights into nervous system organization, clues to the development and differentiation of nerve cells, information on comparative aspects of neuropeptide distribution, and indications of the anatomical and neurochemical complexity of insect central and peripheral nervous systems. These principal trends in insect neuroanatomy are elaborated here.
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