Animal-to-animal variability in motor pattern production in adults and during growth

Dirk Bucher, Astrid A. Prinz, Eve Marder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Which features of network output are well preserved during growth of the nervous system and across different preparations of the same size? To address this issue, we characterized the pyloric rhythms generated by the stomatogastric nervous systems of 99 adult and 12 juvenile lobsters (Homarus americanus). Anatomical studies of single pyloric network neurons and of the whole stomatogastric ganglion (STG) showed that the STG and its neurons grow considerably from juvenile to adult. Despite these changes in size, intracellularly recorded membrane potential waveforms of pyloric network neurons and the phase relationships in the pyloric rhythm were very similar between juvenile and adult preparations. Across adult preparations, the cycle period and number of spikes per burst were not tightly maintained, but the mean phase relationships were independent of the period of the rhythm and relatively tightly maintained across preparations. We interpret this as evidence for homeostatic regulation of network activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1611-1619
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Central pattern generator
  • Homarus americanus
  • Homeostasis
  • Lobster
  • Pyloric rhythm
  • Stomatogastric ganglion


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