IUBio

Sea slugs

Todd I. Stark stark at dwovax.enet.dec.com
Mon Aug 23 18:43:07 EST 1993


tgrove at psycho.fme.vutbr.cz (Tom Grove) writes...
> 
>	I faintly remember  reading (or being told) that some variety of
>sea slug has only sixteen (or similar small number) of neurons. I'm
>interested in building a semi-realistic simulation of a simple animal
>(ala Dr Beer) and this (mythic?) beast would seem suitable. Does anyone
>have any information about sea slug nervous systems? References?

You're probably thinking of the _Aplysia_family, 
marine invertebrates with a small number of very large neurons which
were used notably by Eric Kandel in his pioneering research on synaptic
mechanisms.  His _Principles_of_Neural_Science_ is an excellent 
technical overview.

>Also, I know damn all  about "real" brains (as opposed to artificial neural
>networks, etc) so does anyone know a good introductory book? ideally, it
>would be called something like "What every AI programmer should know about
>the nervous system" - AI needs a book like this - but I suspect it doesn't
>exist.

Gordon Shepherd's introductory neurobiology textbook, simply called
_Neurobiology_ is a good way to learn about the basic principles of
how nerves and synapses work, which is the foundation of what you are looking
for.   It covers from the molecular to the cerebral levels of organization,
stopping just short of describing neural nets.  

TO bridge that gap, you might consider something like 'Wet Mind,' which is
a general readership overview of cognitive neuroscience.

					hope this helps,

					todd

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