Ecdysis: neural orchestration of a complex behavioral performance

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Science  11 Mar 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4282, pp. 1006-1008
DOI: 10.1126/science.841322


Cricket ecdysis (molting) requires continuously changing output in hundreds of motoneurons over a period of several hours, and exhibits considerable plasticity. Despite this complexity, analysis of identified motor units reveals a highly organized three-layered infrastructure, and indicates that the "small system" paradigm currently applied to simple invertebrate motor programs can be extended to much more sophisticated behavioral performances.