Sea slugs

rifle river jstream at girch1.med.uth.tmc.edu
Mon Aug 23 15:31:50 EST 1993


In article <25a53i$349 at rhino.cis.vutbr.cz>, tgrove at psycho.fme.vutbr.cz (Tom
Grove) wrote:
> 
> Hello,
> 
> 	I faintly remember  reading (or being told) that some variety of
> sea slug has only sixteen (or similar small number) of neurons.

I think your wires got crossed.  I work on Aplysia californica, probably
the most famous sea slug of them all (It's actually a sea hare).  Aplysia
have approximately 10,000 neurons.  Hermissenda, another mollusc, has
approximately 2000 neurons.  Nematodes have approximately 200 neurons.

If you are looking for a simple circuit here is some work done on Aplysia. 
For instance 2 motor neurons control constriction in the animals' siphon
and only 5 motor neurons control flaring of the siphon.

While the lobster has several hundred thousand neurons, the stomatogastric
ganglion has only 16 neurons.  This is a very useful and well
studied/modeled system.  See work by Nussbaum and also Silversten(?).

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