celegans CNS sofware?

Stephen R. Wicks swicks at unixg.ubc.ca
Mon Sep 4 12:50:14 EST 1995


pz4a004 at rzaix03.uni-hamburg.de (Aquiles Lima-Rodriguez) wrote:
>    I´ve heard that C. elegans would be an even better animal
>model than Aplysia, because it has a CNS about 300 cells big,
>*all* cells are known and its behavior it´s relatively simple.

Although the connectivity of the nervous system of C. elegans is well 
described relative to say Aplysia, in an absolute sense we are still a 
long way from understanding how the NS produces a simple behaviour let 
alone a complex modulation of behaviour such as learning.

>    A professor told me that there is a complete description
>of C. elegans CNS available as software, but I haven´t been able
>to find it (if it realy exist).  

One that I  have used myself is :

Achacoso TB, Yamammoto WS (1992) AY's Neuroanatomy of C. elegans for 
Computation. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Note however, that the book is just a compilation of putative synaptic 
connections based on the EM reconstruction work of White and others. Not 
all identified syanptic zones may be functional, and there may exsist 
types of synapses or psuedo-syaptic function (eg "mass" or non-synaptic 
release of transmitter, humoral effects etc) which is uncorralated with 
the class of syanptic zone that can be identified with an electron 
microscope.

>I´m also interested in the 
>synaptic connections, neurotransmitters involved and learning
>capabilities (if any :-) ).

The worm does demonstrate several forms of behavioural plasticity. 
See...
Rankin et al., (1990) Caenorhabditis elegans: a new model system for 
the study of learning and memory.  Beh Brain Res 37: 89-92.

Colbert HA, Bargmann CI (1995) Oderant specific adaptation pathways 
generate olfactory plasticity in C. elegans. Neuron 14: 803-12

Mori I, Ohshima Y (1995) Neural regulation of thermotaxis in C elegans. 
Nature 376: 344-48.

..for some interesting behaviours which are modified by experience.
>    I have noticed that many biologists distrust sofware simulations
>of neural systems, an attitude that I share.  For that reason
>precisely I began writing my own programs, maybe someone in this
>group is interested in using my latest model, or even better, has
>a theory of his/her own over learning in C. elegans that I can try
>to translate into sofware.  
> 
We have just finished writing a paper which uses a model that we have 
written ourselves.  There are some interesting challenges involved with 
modeling the C. elegans nervous system.  Email me for further 
correspondence if you wish. swicks at unixg.ubc.ca





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