Function of Identified Nerves in Orientation to Water Flow in Tritonia Diomedea

J Comp Physiol A. 1996 Feb;178(2):201-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00188162.


We determined which sensory and motor nerves mediate orientation to flow in the marine slug Tritonia diomedea, and tested the hypothesis that the slug orients to water flow by comparing the intensities of water flow stimulation on each side of its body. Lesion experiments revealed which nerves carried information necessary for flow orientation. The lateral branches of Cerebral Nerve #2 were the only cerebral nerves necessary for flow orientation. Cutting all cerebral nerves except the lateral branches of Cerebral Nerve #2 did not eliminate flow orientation. Thus, the lateral branches of Cerebral Nerve #2 were both necessary and sufficient (among the cerebral nerves) for flow orientation. Denervation of one side of the head by cutting Cerebral Nerves #1-4 on one side did not eliminate normal flow orientation. We have revised our model of how Tritonia diomedea orients to flow to allow for this unilateral determination of flow direction. Unilaterally cutting Pedal Nerve #3, which contains many pedal motor axons, reduced turning toward that side, but did not affect final orientation to flow. The ability to detect flow direction was not compromised by the inability to initially turn towards flow.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mollusca / cytology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Water*


  • Water