In vivo buccal nerve activity that distinguishes ingestion from rejection can be used to predict behavioral transitions in Aplysia

J Comp Physiol A. 1993 Feb;172(1):17-32. doi: 10.1007/BF00214712.


1. We are studying the neural basis of consummatory feeding behavior in Aplysia using intact, freely moving animals. 2. Video records show that the timing of radula closure during the radula protraction-retraction cycle constitutes a major difference between ingestion (biting or swallowing) and rejection. During ingestion, the radula is closed as it retracts. During rejection, the radula is closed as it protracts. 3. We observed two patterns of activity in nerves which are likely to mediate these radula movements. Patterns I and II are associated with ingestion and rejection, respectively, and are distinguished by the timing of radula nerve activity with respect to the onset of buccal nerve 2 activity. 4. The association of ingestion with pattern I is maintained when the animal feeds on a polyethylene tube, the same food substrate used to elicit rejection responses. Under these conditions, pattern I is associated with either swallowing or no net tube movement. 5. Most transitions from swallowing to rejection were preceded by one or more occurrences of pattern I in which there was no net tube movement, suggesting that these transitions can be predicted. 6. Our data suggest that these two patterns can be used to distinguish ingestion from rejection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aplysia / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Cheek / innervation*
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Forecasting
  • Mastication / physiology
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena