Chapter

The Circuit for Chemotaxis and Exploratory Behavior in <i>C. elegans</i>

Cornelia I. Bargmann

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780195389883.003.0051
The Circuit for Chemotaxis and Exploratory Behavior in C. elegans

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The C. elegans nervous system presents an unusual situation in which neuroanatomical connections are extremely well defined, but the understanding of neuronal activity is fragmentary. One C. elegans circuit that is relatively well characterized generates undirected search when animals are removed from food, and directed chemotaxis in odor gradients. Both of these behaviors are based upon temporally regulated turning behavior. The wiring diagram and quantitative behavioral analysis have been used to trace the circuit for local search behavior from sensory input to motor output. Based on cell ablations, some neurons stimulate turning—killing them leads to reduced turning during local search. This chapter focuses on these neurons, including AWC, AIB, AIA, AIY, and ASK neurons.

Chapter.  1886 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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