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Comparing Animal Nervous Systems. Anne Perrella MCB-HHMI Harvard University. How do animal nervous systems differ?. Compare them Ask: What does a nervous system need to do? How does a particular animal’s nervous system do this?. Nervous System. Input Sensory neurons Decision-making

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comparing animal nervous systems

Comparing Animal Nervous Systems

Anne Perrella

MCB-HHMI

Harvard University

how do animal nervous systems differ
How do animal nervous systems differ?
  • Compare them
  • Ask:
    • What does a nervous system need to do?
    • How does a particular animal’s nervous system do this?
nervous system
Nervous System
  • Input
    • Sensory neurons
  • Decision-making
    • Interneurons
  • Output
    • Motor neurons
what kinds of animals are there
What kinds of animals are there?
  • Nine “traditional” taxonomic phyla:
      • Porifera - sponges
      • Cnidaria - jellyfish
      • Platyhelminthes - flatworms
      • Nematoda - roundworms
      • Annelida - segmented worms
      • Arthropoda - crustaceans, arachnids, insects
      • Mollusca - squid, etc.
      • Echinodermata - starfish, sea urchins
      • Chordata - includes vertebrates
what to ask about each phylum
What to ask about each phylum?
  • What kinds of sensory input?
  • What kinds of decision making?
  • What kinds of response?
what kinds of sensory input
What kinds of sensory input?
  • Light - photons
  • Chemicals - (food/poison/mate) molecules
  • Sound/touch - pressure waves
light
Light:
  • Photoreceptors (lightbulb wingding)
  • Simple light detectors:

eye-cups

ocellli

omatidia

eyes

chemicals
Chemicals:
  • Chemoreceptors
    • Food - (webding banana)
    • Poison - (webding bomb)
    • Mate - (webding heart)
chemicals9
Chemicals:
  • Chemoreceptors
    • Simpler animals: localized in several places on animal’s surface
    • More complex animals: concentrated at head
      • (e.g. smell/taste @ nose/mouth)
sound touch
Sound/touch:
  • Pressure waves
    • Air - moving air molecules
    • Water - moving water molecules
    • Touch - physical contact (predator/prey/mate)
sound touch11
Sound/touch
  • Mechanoreceptors (hand/speaker wingdings)
  • Usually contain cilia that trigger when moved
  • Simpler animals:
    • Distributed throughout surface
  • More complex animals:
    • Surface (e.g. skin)
    • Localized (e.g. lateral line, ears)
decision making
Decision making:
  • Choosing an appropriate response:
    • E.g. fight/flight/mating/homeostasis
  • Requires interneurons:
    • Direct the sensory input to the output
interneurons
Interneurons
  • Simpler animals - not present
  • More complex animals:
    • Central nervous system:
      • Brain - located at the front (head)
      • Spinal cord - runs down the center, branches off where needed
rapid response
Rapid Response
  • Motor neurons:
    • Trigger response - (usu. Movement)
for each animal
For each animal:
  • Identify the sensory neurons:
    • Photoreceptors (lightbulb wingding)
    • Chemoreceptors (banana/bomb/heart wingding)
    • Mechanoreceptors (hand/speaker wingdings)
slide16
Common name: moon jellyfish
  • Species: Aurelia
  • Phylum: Cnidaria
slide17
Common name: moon jellyfish
  • Species: Aurelia
  • Phylum: Cnidaria
slide18
Common name: planarian
  • Species: dugesia
  • Phylum: platyhelminthes
slide19
Common name: planarian
  • Species: dugesia
  • Phylum: platyhelminthes
slide20
Common name: C. elegans (a roundworm)
  • Species: C. elegans
  • Phylum: Nematoda
slide21
Common name: C. elegans (a roundworm)
  • Species: C. elegans
  • Phylum: Nematoda
slide22
Common name: Earthworm
  • Species: Lumbricus
  • Phylum: Annelida
slide23
Common name: Earthworm
  • Species: Lumbricus
  • Phylum: Annelida
slide24
Common name: Crayfish
  • Species: Procambarus
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (crustaceans)
slide25
Common name: Crayfish
  • Species: Procambarus
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (crustaceans)
slide26
Common name: Garden spider
  • Species: Argiope
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (arachnida)
slide27
Common name: Garden spider
  • Species: Argiope
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (arachnida)
slide28
Common name: Garden spider
  • Species: Argiope
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (arachnida)
slide29
Common name: Garden spider
  • Species: Argiope
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (arachnida)
slide30
Common name: Garden spider
  • Species: Argiope
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (arachnida)
slide31
Common name: Garden spider
  • Species: Argiope
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (arachnida)
slide32
Common name: grasshopper
  • Species: romalea
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (insects)
slide33
Common name: grasshopper
  • Species: romalea
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (insects)
slide34
Common name: Squid
  • Species: Lolliguncula
  • Phylum: Mollusca
slide35
Common name: Squid
  • Species: Lolliguncula
  • Phylum: Mollusca
slide36
Common name: Starfish
  • Species: Asterias
  • Phylum: Echinodermata
slide37
Common name: Starfish
  • Species: Asterias
  • Phylum: Echinodermata
slide38
Common name: Frog
  • Species: Rana pipiens
  • Phylum: Chordata
slide39
Common name: Frog
  • Species: Rana pipiens
  • Phylum: Chordata
for further reading
For further reading:
  • Campbell Biology, 6th edition (2002)
    • Ch. 33 Invertebrates (p.646-77)
    • Ch. 34 Vertebrate Evolution and Diversity (p.678-717)
    • Ch. 48 Nervous Systems (p.1038-51)
    • Ch. 49 Sensory and Motor Mechanisms (p.1057-84)
  • Invertebrate Zoology, a Functional Evolutionary Approach, 7th ed. (2004) Ruppert EE, Fox RS, Barnes RB. Brooks Cole Thomson, 963 pp.