Firing control of ink gland motor cells in Aplysia Californica

Xiangying Meng, Quanbao Ji, John Rinzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The release of ink in Aplysia californica occurs selectively to long- lasting stimuli. There is a good correspondence between features of the behavior and the firing pattern of the ink gland motor neurons. Indeed, the neurons do not fire for brief inputs and there is a delayed firing for long duration inputs. The biophysical mechanisms for the long delay before firing is due to a transient potassium current which activates rapidly but inactivates more slowly. Based on voltage-clamp experiments, a nine-variable Hodgkin-Huxley-like model for the ink gland motor neurons was developed by Byrne. Here, fast-slow analysis and two-parameter dynamical analysis are used to investigate the contribution of different currents and to predict various firing patterns, including the long latency before firing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-545
Number of pages17
JournalDiscrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Bifurcation
  • Bistability
  • Neuron
  • Oscillation
  • Transient potassium current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Applied Mathematics


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