Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 161, Issue 1, pp 131–145 | Cite as

The functional organization of the crayfish lamina ganglionaris

I. Nonspiking monopolar cells
  • Lolin T. Wang-Bennett
  • Raymon M. Glantz


The light responses of the second order lamina monopolar neurons were examined in the crayfish compound eye.
  1. 1.

    Single cartridge monopolar neurons (M1–M4) (Fig. 2) exhibited nonspiking hyperpolarizing light responses; for M1; M3 and M4 the transient ‘on’ response operated over the same intensity range as the receptor, 3.5 log units (Fig. 3). M2 operated in a much narrower intensity range (1.5 log unit). The ‘on’ responses were associated with a 19% increase in conductance (Fig. 6).

  2. 2.

    The hyperpolarizing ‘on’ response can be reversed at 18 mV below the resting membrane potential (Fig. 4).

  3. 3.

    The half-angular sensitivity width of monopolar cells (in partially dark-adapted eyes) is 15°×8° (horizontal by vertical) (Fig. 5). Off axis stimuli elicit attenuated hyperpolarizing responses associated with a diminished conductance increase or depolarizing responses associated with a net decrease in conductance. The latter result is consistent with the presynaptic inhibition of a ‘background’ transmitter release which normally persists in the dark.

  4. 4.

    Lateral inhibition is elicited from the area immediately surrounding the excitatory field, and it is associated with diminished transient responses and an accelerated decay of the response (Fig. 5). Inhibitory stimuli decrease the conductance change associated with the hyperpolarizing response (Fig. 7). The surround stimuli can also elicit depolarizing ‘off’ responses with reversal potentials positive to the membrane resting potential. It is concluded that the rapidly repolarizing monopolar cell response (Table 1) is modulated by both pre- and postsynaptic inhibitory mechanisms.

  5. 5.

    A compartment model indicates that signal attenuation along a 500 μm length of monopolar cell axon is 22–34% (Fig. 8). Simulation of steady-state signal transmission suggests that passive (decremental) conduction is sufficient to convey 66 to 78% of the monopolar cell signal from lamina to medulla. The current-voltage relation in current clamp is linear over the physiological operating range, and there is no evidence for rectification (Fig. 6).

  6. 6.

    Hyperpolarization of single monopolar cells (M1–M4) provides a polysynaptic excitatory signal to the medullary sustaining fibers (Fig. 9).



Light Response Presynaptic Inhibition Excitatory Signal Inhibitory Stimulus Hyperpolarizing Response 
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.



external chiasma


lamina ganglionaris


large monopolar cells


medulla externa


sustaining fiber


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lolin T. Wang-Bennett
    • 1
  • Raymon M. Glantz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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