Using a perfusion chamber, we examined the behavior of individual amebae in increasing and decreasing temporal gradients of cAMP. We demonstrated that amebae respond to increasing temporal gradients of cAMP with stimulated motility and to corresponding decreasing temporal gradients with depressed motility. Depressed motility observed in decreasing temporal gradients corresponded to the inhibited levels observed when cAMP was applied at constant concentrations. These results were consistent with a simple model for the motile behavior of amebae in an early aggregation territory in which nondissipating waves of cAMP originate at the aggregation center and travel outward periodically. We conclude that chemotactically responsive amebae can assess whether a temporal gradient of chemoattractant is increasing or decreasing in the absence of a spatial gradient, and can adjust their motility accordingly.

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