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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents a selective presentation of several notable trends in invertebrate neuroscience, which are intended to illustrate the central tenant that, essentially, basic invertebrate neuroscience and basic vertebrate neuroscience are converging to a remarkable degree. That is, the basic principles of cellular, network, and behavioral neuroscience are increasingly congruent within eukaryote phyla, with the notable exceptions of work that is explicitly clinical or concerned with pest control. The historical segregation of invertebrate and vertebrate neuroscience is of decreasing relevance and utility. An increasing literature has arisen that points out common structural and mechanistic themes across the invertebrate–vertebrate (IV) boundary. Among many examples, common neural circuit motifs play a causal role in decision-making circuits responsible for activating innate social behaviors in both Drosophila melanogaster and mice. Charles Darwin said, “It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another.” If some cephalopods are conscious, where do we draw the line?

Keywords: invertebrate neuroscience, invertebrate–vertebrate boundary, cephalopod, consciousness, connectomics, invertebrate cognition, learning and memory, in vivo recording, genetic model systems, computational neuroscience

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