In vitro reconstruction of the respiratory central pattern generator of the mollusk Lymnaea

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Science  12 Oct 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4978, pp. 282-285
DOI: 10.1126/science.2218532


Most rhythmic behaviors such as respiration, locomotion, and feeding are under the control of networks of neurons in the central nervous system known as central pattern generators (CPGs). The respiratory rhythm of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is a relatively simple, CPG-based behavior for which the underlying neural elements have been identified. A three-neuron network capable of generating the respiratory rhythm of this air-breathing mollusk has been reconstructed in culture. The intrinsic and network properties of this neural ensemble have been studied, and the mechanism of postinhibitory rebound excitation was found to be important for the rhythm generation. This in vitro model system enables a better understanding of the neural basis of rhythm generation.

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