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J Neurobiol. 2001 Jan;46(1):29-40.

Contribution of neurons to habituation to mechanical stimulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Physical Information, Faculty of Medicine, Kanazawa University, 5-11-80 Kodatsuno, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0942, Japan.


In Caenorhabditis elegans, a light touch induces a locomotor response. Repeated touches, however, result in an attenuation of response, that is, habituation. Withdrawal responses elicited by anterior touch are controlled by anterior mechanosensory neurons (AVM and ALMs), and by four pairs of interneurons (AVA, AVB, AVD, and PVC) (Chalfie et al., 1985; White et al., 1986). To identify the neurons that participate in habituation, we ablated these neurons with a laser microbeam and investigated the resulting habituation of the operated animals. The animals lacking both left and right homologues AVDLR were habituated more rapidly than intact animals. We propose that chemical synapses at AVD play a critical role in the habituation of intact animals.

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