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The neuronal basis of rhythmic pumping inBalanus kameri

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Rhythmic activity, having a period similar to that of the pumping behaviour of the intact barnacle, can be recorded from the isolated ventral ganglion ofBalanus hameri. Evidence is presented for a rhythm generated presynaptically by PSP's which have an excitatory effect on one set of neurones and an inhibitory effect on an out of phase set of neurones. Electric shocks give results suggesting that the rhythm arises through a relaxation oscillator mechanism, and lesion experiments suggest that the rhythm arises in the central region of the ganglion. Deafferentation indicates that the rhythm's generation is entirely endogenous, although it can be affected by sensory input from the cirri.

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Anterior mid-dorsal nerve

CN :

Cirral neurone


Mid-dorsal neurone


Posterior cirral nerve


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This work was supported by a grant from the Science Research Council. I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor during the course of this work, Dr. D.A. Dorsett, for his advice and encouragement, and also my thanks to Mr. D.C. Williams and Mr. W. Rowntree for their technical assistance.

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Clark, J.V. The neuronal basis of rhythmic pumping inBalanus kameri . J. Comp. Physiol. 130, 183–190 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00611052

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  • Central Region
  • Sensory Input
  • Electric Shock
  • Rhythmic Activity
  • Excitatory Effect