The state of an animal's environment can be viewed as a source of information that can be used to regulate both ongoing and future behavior. The present work examined how the ambient environment can regulate the Aplysia siphon withdrawal reflex (SWR) by changing the environment between calm and turbulent. Results indicate that the SWR is dynamically regulated on the basis of variations in external conditions, so that responsiveness (measured as both reflex duration and threshold) is matched to the state of the environment. Prior exposure to a noxious stimulus (tailshock) has selective effects on this regulation, suggesting the existence of multiple regulatory mechanisms. Further, neurophysiological correlates to behavioral observations were measured in sensory and motor neurons. This will allow for a detailed cellular analysis of environmental information-processing in this system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience