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J Neurosci. 1989 Oct;9(10):3681-9.

Hundreds of neurons in the Aplysia abdominal ganglion are active during the gill-withdrawal reflex.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


A combination of optical and electrode recording methods was used to obtain an overview of the neuron activity in the Aplysia abdominal ganglion in response to a light touch to the siphon skin. Spike activity was detected in up to 150 different neurons. Habituation and sensitization of the gill-withdrawal reflex was accompanied by large changes in the number of activated neurons. It is likely that these recordings are incomplete; the actual number of activated neurons is estimated to be about 300 in the acutely sensitized preparation. While we presume that not all 300 of these neurons are involved in the gill-withdrawal reflex, the number of neurons is so large that it may be difficult to determine the role of each activated neuron with presently available experimental tools.

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