This chapter will discuss major recent advances that have been made in our understanding of how the different functional and neurochemical classes of enteric neurons participate in neurogenic motor activities in the lower gastrointestinal tract that underlie muscle contraction and propulsion of ingest content. Also, we will discuss the very recent advances that have used optogenetics successfully, for the first time this year to control the excitability of the enteric nervous system. Finally, we will reveal some of our own new data demonstrating the potency with which optogenetics can be used to successfully induce colonic contractions and control the timing of colonic propulsion and expulsion of fecal content from the large bowel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract
Subtitle of host publicationSixth Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780128124260
ISBN (Print)9780128099544
StatePublished - Mar 28 2018


  • Chagas disease
  • Colonic migrating motor complex
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Hirschsprung's disease
  • Myenteric plexus
  • Optogenetics
  • Peristalsis
  • Sensory neuron


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