Switching of a neuron from one network to another by sensory-induced changes in membrane properties

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Science  30 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4912, pp. 1587-1589
DOI: 10.1126/science.2740903


A neuron that is an integral member of the pyloric neural network of the lobster stomatogastric nervous system leaves this network and instead fires exclusively with another stomatogastric nervous system network, the cardiac sac network, whenever the cardiac sac network is active. This switch is associated with the neuron losing, in a long-lasting fashion, regenerative oscillatory membrane properties that underlie its participation in the pyloric network. Functional membership of neurons in central networks is thus not fixed, and long-lasting neuromodulatory influences, controlled at least in part by sensory inputs, can switch neurons from one network to another.

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