Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2011 Apr 15;214(Pt 8):1215-23.
doi: 10.1242/jeb.043687.

Do Jellyfish Have Central Nervous Systems?

Free article

Do Jellyfish Have Central Nervous Systems?

Richard A Satterlie. J Exp Biol. .
Free article


The traditional view of the cnidarian nervous system is of a diffuse nerve net that functions as both a conducting and an integrating system; this is considered an indicator of a primitive condition. Yet, in medusoid members, varying degrees of nerve net compression and neuronal condensation into ganglion-like structures represent more centralized integrating centers. In some jellyfish, this relegates nerve nets to motor distribution systems. The neuronal condensation follows a precept of neuronal organization of higher animals with a relatively close association with the development and elaboration of sensory structures. Nerve nets still represent an efficient system for diffuse, non-directional activation of broad, two-dimensional effector sheets, as required by the radial, non-cephalized body construction. However, in most jellyfish, an argument can be made for the presence of centralized nervous systems that interact with the more diffuse nerve nets.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 24 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources