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J Neurosci. 2005 Feb 16;25(7):1611-9.

Animal-to-animal variability in motor pattern production in adults and during growth.

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Volen Center and Biology Department, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110, USA.


Which features of network output are well preserved during growth of the nervous system and across different preparations of the same size? To address this issue, we characterized the pyloric rhythms generated by the stomatogastric nervous systems of 99 adult and 12 juvenile lobsters (Homarus americanus). Anatomical studies of single pyloric network neurons and of the whole stomatogastric ganglion (STG) showed that the STG and its neurons grow considerably from juvenile to adult. Despite these changes in size, intracellularly recorded membrane potential waveforms of pyloric network neurons and the phase relationships in the pyloric rhythm were very similar between juvenile and adult preparations. Across adult preparations, the cycle period and number of spikes per burst were not tightly maintained, but the mean phase relationships were independent of the period of the rhythm and relatively tightly maintained across preparations. We interpret this as evidence for homeostatic regulation of network activity.

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