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Somatic and visceral nervous systems - an ancient duality

Paola Bertucci and Detlev Arendt

Author Affiliations

EMBL, Developmental Biology Unit, Meyerhofstrasse 1, Heidelbergs 69012, Germany

BMC Biology 2013, 11:54  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-54

Published: 30 April 2013


The vertebrate nervous system is deeply divided into ‘somatic’ and ‘visceral’ subsystems that respond to external and internal stimuli, respectively. Molecular characterization of neurons in different groups of mollusks by Nomaksteinsky and colleagues, published in this issue of BMC Biology, reveals that the viscero-somatic duality is evolutionarily ancient, predating Bilateria.

See research article: webcite