Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 388–401 | Cite as

The role of propagated skin impulses in the sensory system of young tadpoles

  • Alan Roberts


  1. 1.

    Behavioural experiments onXenopus laevis embryos suggest that excitation, initiated by outside stimuli, can travel through the skin to evoke muscular responses even if the skin is cut into complex patterns which would disrupt limited nerve pathways (see Fig. 2).

  2. 2.

    The skin impulse which can propagate through the skin ofXenopus embryos offers a mechanism for the spread of excitation in the skin.

  3. 3.

    Skin impulses evoked by extraor intra-cellular electrical current pulses to the skin evoke muscular responses.

  4. 4.

    Round the time of hatching, skin impulses precede behavioural responses (e.g. swimming) to a variety of stimulus modalities.

  5. 5.

    Skin impulses are also present inBufo andRana embryos and young tadpoles.

  6. 6.

    It is concluded that, for a limited period in development (stages 24 to 40 inXenopus), the skin impulse is part of the normal response to stimulation, and that the impulse is probably necessary for excitation of the central nervous system and the consequent behavioural response (see Fig. 8).



Nervous System Central Nervous System Sensory System Behavioural Response Current Pulse 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of BristolBristolEngland

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