Identification and Characterization of electrical patterns underlying stereotyped behaviours in the semi-intact leech

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Neuroscience aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying perception, learning, memory, consciousness and acts. The present Ph.D. thesis aims to elucidate some principles controlling actions, which in a more scientific and technical language is referred to as motor control. This concept has been studied in a variety of preparations in vertebrate and invertebrate species. In this PhD thesis, the leech has been the subject of choice, because it is a well known preparation, highly suitable for relating functional and behavioural properties to the underlying neuronal networks. The semi-intact leech preparation (Kristan et al., 1974) has been the main methodological strategy performed in the experiments. Its importance lies in the fact that it gives the possibility to access the information from the leech\u2019s central nervous system (CNS) and compare simultaneously some stereotyped behaviours. Thus, entering in this work it is necessary to make a brief summary of the steps followed before arriving to the conclusions written ahead. The main objective followed in this work has been the analysis, identification and characterization of electrical patterns underlying different behaviours in Hirudo medicinalis. This main objective has been reached focusing the project on three particular objectives, which have been pursued during the author\u2019s Philosophical Doctorate course