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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Aug;21(4):544-52. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.05.019. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Neural circuit flexibility in a small sensorimotor system.

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1
215 Stemmler Hall, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States.

Abstract

Neuronal circuits underlying rhythmic behaviors (central pattern generators: CPGs) can generate rhythmic motor output without sensory input. However, sensory input is pivotal for generating behaviorally relevant CPG output. Here we discuss recent work in the decapod crustacean stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) identifying cellular and synaptic mechanisms whereby sensory inputs select particular motor outputs from CPG circuits. This includes several examples in which sensory neurons regulate the impact of descending projection neurons on CPG circuits. This level of analysis is possible in the STNS due to the relatively unique access to identified circuit, projection, and sensory neurons. These studies are also revealing additional degrees of freedom in sensorimotor integration that underlie the extensive flexibility intrinsic to rhythmic motor systems.

PMID:
21689926
PMCID:
PMC3177960
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2011.05.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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