Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 156, Issue 3, pp 381–389 | Cite as

Ectopic neurons and the organization of insect sensory systems

  • R. K. Murphey
  • J. P. Bacon
  • S. E. Johnson


The transplantation of appendages from one place to another on the body of crickets (Acheta domesticus) has been used to study the similarities and differences between the sensory systems of various ganglia. Mesothoracic legs have been transplanted to the abdomen in place of a cercus and cerci have been transplanted to thoracic leg stumps. After the ectopic sensory neurons had time to regenerate into the CNS, they were stained and their axonal arborizations examined. The results, which were concerned primarily with bristle receptors, revealed that bristle afferents on ectopic cerci arborized in ventral neuropil (the ventralmost association center) and leg afferents arborized in a ventral anterior region of the terminal abdominal ganglion. The results support the idea that each ganglion contains only a few distinct regions of neuropil (probably three), each receiving separate subsets of the afferent projection.

The ectopic cerci were also shown to excite interneurons in the thoracic ganglia whose dendrites were located in the most ventral neuropil. These neurons normally respond to thoracic bristle afferents. Thus, the segregation of afferent axons has a correlate in the interneurons they excite.


Sensory System Sensory Neuron Distinct Region Anterior Region Association Center 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Murphey
    • 1
  • J. P. Bacon
    • 1
  • S. E. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology Research CenterState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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