Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorWeiss, Shennan Aibel
dc.identifier.citationSource: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-11, Section: B, page: 6612.;Advisors: Donald S. Faber.
dc.description.abstractA goal in neuroscience is to understand how individual neurons process sensory information, make a decision and generate a motor command. The Mauthner (M-) cell is a giant reticulospinal neuron present as a pair in many fish. When a stimulus excites the M-cell above threshold it fires a single action potential that correlates with a fast startle-escape response. The escape is often appropriately timed and directional. We used electrophysiological and behavioral techniques to investigate the functional organization of the M-cell's neuronal network, and the biophysical mechanisms that endow the system with decision-making capacities. We show that the M-cell initiates the escape behavior in response to diverse multimodal stimuli, and that other reticulospinal neurons, in parallel and in series with the M-cell, specify the trajectory of the C-start escape. Stimulus-evoked inhibition of the M-cell regulates the behavioral threshold and is partially mediated by a rarely described, but potentially widespread, form of neurotransmission known as a field effect. Sound phase encoding, mediated by gap junctions, is evident in the excitatory and inhibitory branches of the M-cell circuit and at the behavioral level, suggesting that the M-cell system implements a time coding algorithm to discriminate the location of underwater sound sources. These results advance the understanding of sensorimotor integration in the M-cell system, and the biophysical basis of decision-making in single neurons.
dc.publisherProQuest Dissertations & Theses
dc.titleSensorimotor integration in the Mauthner cell system and the role of inhibition

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record