Unique Configurations of Compression and Truncation of Neuronal Activity Underlie l-DOPA-Induced Selection of Motor Patterns in Aplysia. Academic Article uri icon


  • A key issue in neuroscience is understanding the ways in which neuromodulators such as dopamine modify neuronal activity to mediate selection of distinct motor patterns. We addressed this issue by applying either low or high concentrations of l-DOPA (40 or 250 M) and then monitoring activity of up to 130 neurons simultaneously in the feeding circuitry of Aplysia using a voltage-sensitive dye (RH-155). l-DOPA selected one of two distinct buccal motor patterns (BMPs): intermediate (low l-DOPA) or bite (high l-DOPA) patterns. The selection of intermediate BMPs was associated with shortening of the second phase of the BMP (retraction), whereas the selection of bite BMPs was associated with shortening of both phases of the BMP (protraction and retraction). Selection of intermediate BMPs was also associated with truncation of individual neuron spike activity (decreased burst duration but no change in spike frequency or burst latency) in neurons active during retraction. In contrast, selection of bite BMPs was associated with compression of spike activity (decreased burst latency and duration and increased spike frequency) in neurons projecting through specific nerves, as well as increased spike frequency of protraction neurons. Finally, large-scale voltage-sensitive dye recordings delineated the spatial distribution of neurons active during BMPs and the modification of that distribution by the two concentrations of l-DOPA.

published proceedings

  • eNeuro

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Neveu, C. L., Costa, R. M., Homma, R., Nagayama, S., Baxter, D. A., & Byrne, J. H.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Neveu, Curtis L||Costa, Renan M||Homma, Ryota||Nagayama, Shin||Baxter, Douglas A||Byrne, John H

publication date

  • September 2017

published in