Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 412, Issue 1–2, pp 188–194 | Cite as

Analysis of cold and warm receptor activity in vampire bats and mice

  • Klaus Schäfer
  • Hans A. Braun
  • Ludwig Kürten
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


The response characteristics of facial thermoreceptors of the common vampire bat and of the mouse have been quantitatively studied. Cold receptors were identified in bat and mouse; warm receptors were only established in the bat. Cold and warm receptor populations of the two species share most of their properties with facial thermoreceptor populations of various mammalian species investigated so far. The temporal pattern of activity of cold receptors of the mouse corresponded to that observed in cats, dogs and monkeys: impulse groups at lower, and beating activity at higher temperatures. At maintained temperature, no impulse groups were initiated in cold receptors of the bat. However, cooling steps from various initial temperatures induced a transient grouped discharge in both cold receptor populations. A discharge in regular groups of impulses was occasionally generated in warm receptors of the bat at maintained temperatures and following warming steps. The data indicate that the temperature dependence of periodic activity in warm receptors is not as uniform as it is in cold receptors. It is concluded that cyclic processes are involved in sensory transduction of both warm and cold receptors, and that this cyclic behavior seems to be a general property of thermoreceptors of presumably all vertebrate species.

Key words

Cold receptors Warm receptors Discharge pattern Cyclic activity Transducer processes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Schäfer
    • 1
  • Hans A. Braun
    • 2
  • Ludwig Kürten
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für Zoophysiologie der Universität HohenheimStuttgart 70Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Normale und Pathologische Physiologie der UniversitätMarburgGermany
  3. 3.Zoologisches Institut der UniversitätBonnGermany

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