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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2004 Nov;190(11):951-62. Epub 2004 Aug 19.

Binocular visual integration in the crustacean nervous system.

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Laboratorio de Neurobiología de la Memoria IFIBYNE. Depto. Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Celular, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón 2 Ciudad Universitaria (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Although the behavioral repertoire of crustaceans is largely guided by visual information their visual nervous system has been little explored. In search for central mechanisms of visual integration, this study was aimed at identifying and characterizing brain neurons in the crab involved in binocular visual processing. The study was performed in the intact animal, by recording intracellularly the response to visual stimuli of neurons from one of the two optic lobes. Identified neurons recorded from the medulla (second optic neuropil), which include sustaining neurons, dimming neurons, depolarizing and hyperpolarizing tonic neurons and on-off neurons, all presented exclusively monocular (ipsilateral) responses. In contrast, all wide field movement detector neurons recorded from the lobula (third optic neuropil) responded to moving stimuli presented to the ipsilateral and to the contralateral eye. In these cells, the responses evoked by ipsilateral or contralateral stimulation were almost identical, as revealed by analysing the number and amplitude of the elicited postsynaptic potentials and spikes, and the ability to habituate upon repeated visual stimulation. The results demonstrate that in crustaceans important binocular processing takes place at the level of the lobula.

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