Behavioral observation of xenopus tadpole swimming for neuroscience labs
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Neuroscience labs benefit from reliable, easily - monitored neural responses mediated by well - studied neural pathways . Xenopus laevis tadpoles have been used as a simple vertebrate model preparation in motor control studies. Most of the neuronal pathways underlying different aspects of tadpole swimming behavior have been revealed. These include the skin mechanosensory touch and pineal eye light - sensing pathways whose activation can initiate swimming , and the cement gland pressure - sensing pathway responsible for stopping swimming. A simple transection in the hindbrain can cut off the pineal eye and cement gland pathways from the swimming circuit in the spinal cord, resulting in losses of corresponding functions. Additionally, some pharmacological experiments targeting neurotransmission can be designed to affect swimming and, fluorescence - conjugated α -bungarotoxin can be used to label nicotinic receptors at neuromuscular junctions. These experiments can be readily adapted for undergraduate neuroscience teaching labs. Possible expansions of some experiments for more sophisticated pharmacological or neurophysiological labs are also discussed.
Li , W , Wagner , M A & Porter , N J 2014 , ' Behavioral observation of xenopus tadpole swimming for neuroscience labs ' Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education , vol. 12 , no. 2 , pp. A107-A113 .
Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education
© 2014 The Authors. This is an Open Access article published in the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education Spring 2014, available online: http://www.funjournal.org/
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