Crustacean motor pattern generator networks

Neurosignals. Jan-Apr 2004;13(1-2):50-69. doi: 10.1159/000076158.


Crustacean motor pattern-generating networks have played central roles in understanding the cellular and network bases of rhythmic motor patterns for over half a century. We review here the four best investigated of these systems: the stomatogastric, ventilatory, cardiac, and swimmeret systems. Generally applicable observations arising from this work include (1) neurons with active, endogenous cell properties (endogenous bursting, postinhibitory rebound, plateau potentials), (2) nonhierarchical (distributed) network synaptic connectivity patterns characterized by high levels of inter-neuronal connections, (3) nonspiking neurons and graded transmitter release, (4) multiple modulatory inputs, (5) networks that produce multiple patterns and have flexible boundaries, and (6) peripheral properties (proprioceptive feedback loops, low-frequency muscle filtering) playing an important role in motor pattern generation or expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Crustacea / physiology*
  • Digestive System / cytology
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / cytology
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / physiology
  • Gills / anatomy & histology
  • Gills / physiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Periodicity
  • Swimming / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology