Oscillations and oscillatory behavior in small neural circuits

Biol Cybern. 2006 Dec;95(6):537-54. doi: 10.1007/s00422-006-0125-1. Epub 2006 Dec 7.


In order to determine the dynamical properties of central pattern generators (CPGs), we have examined the lobster stomatogastric ganglion using the tools of nonlinear dynamics. The lobster pyloric and gastric mill central pattern generators can be analyzed at both the cellular and network levels because they are small, i.e., contain only 25 neurons between them and each neuron and synapse are repeatedly identifiable from animal to animal. We discuss how the biophysical properties of each neuron and synapse in the two circuits act cooperatively to generate two different patterns of sequential activity, how these patterns are altered by neuromodulators and perturbed by noise and sensory inputs. Finally, we show how simplified Hindmarsh-Rose models can be made into analog electronic neurons that mimic the lobster neurons and in addition be incorporated into artificial CPGs with robotic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Biological Clocks / physiology
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Palinuridae
  • Periodicity*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology