Responses of descending interneurons of the thoracic nerve chain ofLocusta migratoria L. to wind stimulation of the head receptors concerned with the activation of the insect's flight were investigated by means of extracellular microelectrode recordings from their axons. Altogether 11 types of descending effects transmitted by these interneurons to neurons of the segmental ganglia were detected. Ipsilateral and contralateral wind stimulation of the receptors can not only activate hitherto silent interneurons but also effectively modify the character of discharges from spontaneously active, discharging neurons. This influence may be either excitatory (increased spontaneous firing rate) or inhibitory (decreased rate or total abolition of spontaneous discharges). Some descending interneurons give rise not only to on-responses but also to typical off-responses to stimulation. The possible functional role of some of the observed effects in the mechanisms triggering and maintaining the insect's flight is discussed.
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Sviderskii, V.L., Varanka, I. Responses of descending interneurons to stimulation of wind head receptors in locust. Neurophysiology 5, 461–467 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01063052
- Functional Role
- Firing Rate
- Spontaneous Discharge
- Spontaneous Firing
- Microelectrode Recording