Ageless hydra specimens invaluable in characterizing neural circuitry in animal kingdom

Rice University researchers have developed methods to corral the tiny, squid-like hydrae and perform the first comprehensive characterization of relationships between neural activity and muscle movements in these creatures. The researchers used several methods to reveal the basic neural patterns that drive the activities of freshwater hydra vulgaris: They immobilized the animals in narrow, needle-laden passages, dropped them into arenas about one-tenth the size of a dime and let them explore wide-open spaces. They expect their analysis will help them identify patterns that have been conserved by evolution in larger brain architectures.

Provided by Rice University

Runtime: 2:13

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