Sequencing of behaviors in Aplysia fasciata: Integration of feeding, reproduction, and locomotion

Israel Ziv, Cornel Lustig, Sylvia Markovich, Abraham J. Susswein

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    14 Scopus citations


    To begin studying the neural basis of higher-order decision-making in Aplysia fasciata, we examined individual bouts of behavior in various conditions of access to food and/or mates. We then determined rules governing transitions between bouts. The data indicate that a single intermediate condition, moving in place, may be centrally related to transitions between behaviors. In all conditions, over 85% of all transitions between behaviors were via moving in place. Moving in place tended to precede and follow other categories of activity (crawling, swimming, immobile), and feeding. Also, moving in place apparently represents a fixed proportion of all bouts of behavior. In each condition, moving in place represented ∼40% of all bouts, while the number of bouts of other behaviors varied markedly. After a bout of moving in place there was a strong tendency for the animal to return to the behavior performed before moving in place. Additional preferred sequences of behavior were also seen. Courtship tended to precede mating, and crawling preceded swimming.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)148-169
    Number of pages22
    JournalBehavioral and Neural Biology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Sep 1991


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