Gastropod Neuroscience

Bjoern Brembs is attending and liveblogging from the Gastropod Neuroscience meeting at Friday Harbor Laboratories and has posted about several talks already and will likely post more over the next couple of days.
Something struck me in his coverage of Dennis Willows’ talk about magnetoreception in Tritonia:

However, in 20 years of research, the researchers haven’t found the cells which sense the magnetic field and transmit the information to the neurons in the brain.

Well, Ken Lohmann, barely a mile or so from me, has already published several papers on Tritonia neurons sensitive to changes in the Earth’s geomagnetic field. Is there a controversy about this? I doubt Willows is unaware of Lohmann’s work, so why did he ignore it in his talk? Or did I misunderstand that remark?
Ronald Chase: snails slugs and sex adds more complexity to the story of penis fencing in molluscs than I was aware of previously.
More from the meeting so far:
Robert Meech: Why Mollusks behave the way they do
Richard Satterlie: Swimming Speed Changes in a Predatory Mollusk
Leonard Kaczmarek: Regulation of prolonged changes in neuronal excitability
Klaude Weiss: Dynamic reorganization of the feeding CPG of Aplysia (Aplysia used to be a biggie animal model in circadian field, but I don’t think there is anyone working on it any more)
Paul Katz: Nudibranchs, Neuromodulation, Neural circuits, & Neuromics
Unfortunately, no pretty pictures of Nudibranchs (or any gastropods for that matter – just people, people, people). For that, you have to visit Bouphonia on Fridays.

8 responses to “Gastropod Neuroscience

  1. I didn’t get around to posting gastropod pictures, yet! By the end of the meeting or so, I’ll have a few pics and videos of swimming snails up on my blog and/or youtube! 🙂
    Willows did show these responses to changes in the magnetic field, but they are not the neurons sensing the field, they’re postsynaptic to so far unknown sensory neurons.

  2. I didn’t get around to posting gastropod pictures, yet! By the end of the meeting or so, I’ll have a few pics and videos of swimming snails up on my blog and/or youtube! 🙂
    Willows did show these responses to changes in the magnetic field, but they are not the neurons sensing the field, they’re postsynaptic to so far unknown sensory neurons.

  3. I didn’t get around to posting gastropod pictures, yet! By the end of the meeting or so, I’ll have a few pics and videos of swimming snails up on my blog and/or youtube! 🙂
    Willows did show these responses to changes in the magnetic field, but they are not the neurons sensing the field, they’re postsynaptic to so far unknown sensory neurons.

  4. Actually, Lohmann and Willows have published together, so it would be very surprising indeed if Willows wouldn’t cite his collaborator.

  5. Actually, Lohmann and Willows have published together, so it would be very surprising indeed if Willows wouldn’t cite his collaborator.

  6. Actually, Lohmann and Willows have published together, so it would be very surprising indeed if Willows wouldn’t cite his collaborator.

  7. Thanks – good to know. I have yet to read those papers. I only remember when he (Lohmann) talked about it before even the first paper came out.

  8. That seems odd to me too. Maybe he was parsing the point — the structures animals use to sense the magnetic field have been identified, but not the neurons that interpret the information. A former teacher of mine, Joe Kirschvink, has done some research on this. His latest pub is here: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~jkirschvink/pdfs/WalkerFishChapter.pdf