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The Neurobiology of Feeding in Leeches

Lent, Charles M. and Dickinson, Michael H. (1988) The Neurobiology of Feeding in Leeches. Scientific American, 258 (6). pp. 98-103. ISSN 0036-8733.

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In The African Queen Humphrey Bogart, finding leeches clinging to his body, expressed a popular sentiment when he exclaimed, "If there's anything in the world I hate, it's leeches-the filthy little devils!" Yet to a neurobiologist the bloodsucking worm is a thing of beauty. Its nervous system is simple and highly organized, and its neurons are large, readily identifiable and accessible to microelectrodes. These features make the leech a particularly useful animal in which to study the activity of specific neurons. Moreover-with a certain poetic justice-the animal's repugnant feeding habits have turned out to provide the vital clues enabling our laboratory to discover the function of an important group of neurons.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Dickinson, Michael H.0000-0002-8587-9936
Additional Information:© 1988 Scientific American, Inc.
Subject Keywords:Ganglia; Interneurons; Animal feeding behavior; Blood; Synapses; Lent; Jaw; Axons; Toxins
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181116-082628300
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Official Citation:Lent, Charles M., and Michael H. Dickinson. “The Neurobiology of Feeding in Leeches.” Scientific American, vol. 258, no. 6, 1988, pp. 98–103.,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90946
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 17:05
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:30

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