The effects of food arousal on the latency of biting in Aplysia

Abraham J. Susswein, Klaudiusz R. Weiss, Irving Kupfermann

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109 Scopus citations


Exposure of Aplysia to food stimuli initiates a process leading to a state of food arousal. One aspect of this process is expressed in a progressive reduction in latency of successive biting responses. The time needed for food stimulation to produce a state of arousal (measured by a minimal latency) is affected by the satiation level of the animal, and by the strength of the food stimulus presented. Specifically, the rise of the arousal state is slowed in partially satiated animals, and in animals presented with weak food stimuli. When aroused animals are allowed a period of rest without food stimulation a decay of arousal occurs, as reflected in a rise in latency. Arousal state decays more rapidly in partially satiated animals than in non-fed animals. Effects of satiation upon arousal were mimicked by feeding animals with non-nutritive bulk, thereby demonstrating that these effects are due, at least in part, to the bulk stimuli provided by food consumed during a meal. The interaction between effects of the arousal state and satiation may help explain how feeding in Aplysia is patterned into discrete meals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1978
Externally publishedYes


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