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Invertebrate neurophylogeny: suggested terms and definitions for a neuroanatomical glossary

Author(s): Richter Stefan | Loesel Rudi | Purschke Günter | Schmidt-Rhaesa Andreas | Scholtz Gerhard | Stach Thomas | Vogt Lars | Wanninger Andreas | Brenneis Georg | Döring Carmen | Faller Simone | Fritsch Martin | Grobe Peter | Heuer Carsten | Kaul Sabrina | Møller Ole | Müller Carsten | Rieger Verena | Rothe Birgen | Stegner Martin | Harzsch Steffen

Journal: Frontiers in Zoology
ISSN 1742-9994

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 29;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Invertebrate nervous systems are highly disparate between different taxa. This is reflected in the terminology used to describe them, which is very rich and often confusing. Even very general terms such as 'brain', 'nerve', and 'eye' have been used in various ways in the different animal groups, but no consensus on the exact meaning exists. This impedes our understanding of the architecture of the invertebrate nervous system in general and of evolutionary transformations of nervous system characters between different taxa. Results We provide a glossary of invertebrate neuroanatomical terms with a precise and consistent terminology, taxon-independent and free of homology assumptions. This terminology is intended to form a basis for new morphological descriptions. A total of 47 terms are defined. Each entry consists of a definition, discouraged terms, and a background/comment section. Conclusions The use of our revised neuroanatomical terminology in any new descriptions of the anatomy of invertebrate nervous systems will improve the comparability of this organ system and its substructures between the various taxa, and finally even lead to better and more robust homology hypotheses.
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