A network of intra- and intersegmental synaptic connexions has been identified in the ventral nerve cord of the leech that links the set of oscillatory interneurones of the central swim oscillator to the motor neurones commanding the swimming rhythm. Excitatory connexions lead from oscillatory interneurones to both excitatory and inhibitory motor neurones, whereas inhibitory connexions lead from oscillatory interneurones to only the inhibitory motor neurones. Connexions leading from a motor neurone back to the oscillatory interneurones were found in only one exceptional case, an inhibitory motor neurone previously known to have access to the central swim oscillator. This network of identified connexions can account reasonably well for the mechanism by which the oscillatory interneurones drive their follower motor neurones into the phasic activity pattern characteristic of the swimming movement.
Neuronal control of swimming in the medicinal leech. V. Connexions between the oscillatory interneurones and the motor neurones
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M. Poon, W. O. Friesen, G. S. Stent; Neuronal control of swimming in the medicinal leech. V. Connexions between the oscillatory interneurones and the motor neurones. J Exp Biol 1 August 1978; 75 (1): 45–63. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.75.1.45
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