Cell Biology and the Study of Behavior
My purpose in this brief discussion is to describe how cellular neurobiologists are trying to study the mechanisms of behavior and learning. For reasons that are fairly obvious, the biological study of behavior and learning is still in its infancy. Behavior is produced by the brain. The brain of man, which is the brain biologists would ultimately most like to understand, is immensely complex. In addition, because it is encased in a bony skull, it is relatively inaccessible from a technical standpoint. Even when its surface is exposed surgically by removing the bone, many important structures remain out of view because they are deeply buried within its massive sub-stance. The brain is also inaccessible for moral reasons. Since it is the seat of those attributes and functions we refer to as character and mind, we would only want to explore the brain of man when we know exactly what we are doing, can do it safely, and have a clear medical indication for doing it. As a result, our understanding of how the human brain controls behavior is very limited. More than in any other area of medicine, study of the relationship of brain and behavior will require the development of adequate animal models.
KeywordsMotor Neuron Sensory Neuron Ascaris Lumbricoides Abdominal Ganglion Marine Snail
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bullock, T. H., and Horridge, G. A., 1965, Structure and Function in the Nervous Systems of Invertebrates (2 vols.) W. H. Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
- Kandel, E. R., Frazier, W. T., Waziri, R., and Coggeshall, R. E., 1967, Direct and common connections among identified neurons in Aplysia, J. Neurophysiol. 30: 1352.Google Scholar
- Kandel, E. R., 1976, Cellular Basis of Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neurobiology, W. H. Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
- Kandel, E. R., Brunelli, M., Byrne, J., and Castellucci, V., 1976, A common presynaptic locus for the synaptic changes underlying short-term habituation and sensitization of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Symposium on Qmntitative Biology, XL: The Synapse, pp. 465–482.Google Scholar
- Koester, J., Mayeri, E., Liebeswar, G., and Kandel, E. R., 1974, Neural control of circulation in Aplysia. II. Interneurons, J Neurophysiol. 37: 476.Google Scholar
- Pinsker H., Kupfermann, I., Castellucci, V., and Kandel, E. R., 1970, Habituation and dishabituation of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia, Science 167: 1740.Google Scholar