Crustacean Neuromuscular Systems: Past, Present, and Future

  • Harold L. Atwood


Among the early explorers of invertebrate nervous systems, C. A. G. Wiersma and his collaborators made some of the most significant discoveries in their studies on crustacean neuromuscular systems. Their isolation and characterization of the properties of individual excitor and inhibitor axons (reviewed by Wiersma, 1961a) introduced a concept which was later extended to interneurons (INs) and which is still dominant today: individual neurons have distinct or even unique properties and personalities and play well-specified roles in the behavior of the organism. Indeed, it may be that the same concept will be found to apply in some degree to vertebrate nervous systems as well (Bullock, 1975). The more we learn about vertebrate motor neurons (MNs) and interneurons INs, the more individuality they acquire. The Mauthner cells of lower vertebrates are as well known as many identified invertebrate INs, and who today would claim that motor units within a vertebrate muscle or the MNs supplying them (Burke et al.,1971, 1974) are all alike?


Inhibitory Neuron Presynaptic Inhibition Motor Axon Open Inhibitor Single Muscle Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold L. Atwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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