Organization of Conducting Systems in “Simple” Invertebrates: Porifera, Cnidaria and Ctenophora

  • Richard A. Satterlie
  • Andrew N. Spencer


The following review summarizes recent discoveries in three groups of multicellular animals in which the phrase “central nervous system” does not fit the usual conception of a centralized ganglion, or group of ganglia, located in the anterior portion of a bilaterally symmetrical animal. The radial symmetry of cnidarians and ctenophores presents unique problems for the acquisition and integration of sensory information as well as the distribution of motor output. Here we provide insights into how behavior is controlled in the “most primitive” of radially symmetrical animals, cnidarians and ctenophores. In addition, recent advances in the neurobiology of the Porifera are reviewed. This review is not presented as an encyclopedic account of all past work on these groups, but rather as a sampling of past and current studies that best illustrate general properties of these groups and highlight the most recent developments and directions of ongoing research.


Conducting System Nerve Ring Giant Axon Apical Organ Chemical Synapse 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Satterlie
    • 1
  • Andrew N. Spencer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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