A miniaturized photocell assembly consisting of an infrared light-emitting diode coupled with a phototransistor was developed for chronically monitoring heart rate in freely behaving Aplysia. The assembly was water proofed by encapsulation in epoxy, and embedded in Silastic to provide a flange for attachment to the animal. The assembly is sutured over the pericardium, and the leads from the photocell are connected to a specially designed amplifier with output to a pen writer. Independent measures of heart rate were obtained visually in A. brasiliana and by means of a "blood" pressure cannula in A. californica. Applications using the photocell assembly in Aplysia behavioral physiology include assessment and monitoring of heart rate (1) before, during, and following burrowing; (2) during periods of copulation and quiescence; (3) during egg-laying; and (4) during the bradycardial reflex.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)