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Planarian shows decision-making behavior in response to multiple stimuli by integrative brain function

Overview of attention for article published in Zoological Letters, February 2015
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (51st percentile)

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6 tweeters
1 Facebook page


42 Dimensions

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106 Mendeley
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Planarian shows decision-making behavior in response to multiple stimuli by integrative brain function
Published in
Zoological Letters, February 2015
DOI 10.1186/s40851-014-0010-z
Pubmed ID

Takeshi Inoue, Hajime Hoshino, Taiga Yamashita, Seira Shimoyama, Kiyokazu Agata


Planarians belong to an evolutionarily early group of organisms that possess a central nervous system including a well-organized brain with a simple architecture but many types of neurons. Planarians display a number of behaviors, such as phototaxis and thermotaxis, in response to external stimuli, and it has been shown that various molecules and neural pathways in the brain are involved in controlling these behaviors. However, due to the lack of combinatorial assay methods, it remains obscure whether planarians possess higher brain functions, including integration in the brain, in which multiple signals coming from outside are coordinated and used in determining behavioral strategies. In the present study, we designed chemotaxis and thigmotaxis/kinesis tracking assays to measure several planarian behaviors in addition to those measured by phototaxis and thermotaxis assays previously established by our group, and used these tests to analyze planarian chemotactic and thigmotactic/kinetic behaviors. We found that headless planarian body fragments and planarians that had specifically lost neural activity following regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock) of synaptotagmin in the brain lost both chemotactic and thigmotactic behaviors, suggesting that neural activity in the brain is required for the planarian's chemotactic and thigmotactic behaviors. Furthermore, we compared the strength of phototaxis, chemotaxis, thigmotaxis/kinesis, and thermotaxis by presenting simultaneous binary stimuli to planarians. We found that planarians showed a clear order of predominance of these behaviors. For example, when planarians were simultaneously exposed to 400 lux of light and a chemoattractant, they showed chemoattractive behavior irrespective of the direction of the light source, although exposure to light of this intensity alone induces evasive behavior away from the light source. In contrast, when the light intensity was increased to 800 or 1600 lux and the same dose of chemoattractant was presented, planarian behaviors were gradually shifted to negative phototaxis rather than chemoattraction. These results suggest that planarians may be capable of selecting behavioral strategies via the integration of discrete brain functions when exposed to multiple stimuli. The planarian brain processes external signals received through the respective sensory neurons, thereby resulting in the production of appropriate behaviors. In addition, planarians can adjust behavioral features in response to stimulus conditions by integrating multiple external signals in the brain.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 106 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 2%
Portugal 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
Saudi Arabia 1 <1%
Unknown 101 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 22 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 19%
Other 15 14%
Researcher 15 14%
Student > Postgraduate 6 6%
Other 15 14%
Unknown 13 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 43 41%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 21 20%
Engineering 5 5%
Environmental Science 4 4%
Neuroscience 4 4%
Other 15 14%
Unknown 14 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 August 2018.
All research outputs
of 13,333,056 outputs
Outputs from Zoological Letters
of 115 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 354,526 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Zoological Letters
of 31 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,333,056 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 70th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 115 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.4. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 354,526 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 31 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its contemporaries.