Central and Reflex Recruitment of Crayfish Leg Motoneurones

  • P. Skorupski


The reflex pathways of the crayfish thoracocoxal (leg to body) joint are reviewed as a model system for studying central and feedback control of movement. Movement of this joint can evoke both positive and negative feedback reflexes via parallel reflex pathways. Transmission in these pathways depends on central factors, such as the phase of centrally generated motor output. In addition, reflex responses are not uniform within a pool of motoneurones: positive feedback reflexes are restricted to subgroups of a motor pool. Thus, selective recruitment of motoneurones by the CNS could potentially bring about different reflex effects. Finally, selective neuromodulation of reflex pathways is described. The amine, octopamine, abolishes positive feedback reflexes, but leaves negative feedback reflexes relatively unaffected.


Reflex Response Thoracic Ganglion Feedback Group Reflex Pathway Proprioceptive Input 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexandrowicz, J.S. and Whitear, M. (1957). Receptor elements in the coxal region of Decapoda Crustacea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 36, 603–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersson, O. and Grillner, S. (1981). Peripheral control of the cat’s step cycle. I. Phase dependent effects of ramp-movements of the hips during fictive locomotion. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 113, 89–101.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersson, O. and Grillner, S. (1983). Peripheral control of the cat’s step cycle. II. Entrainment of the central pattern generators for locomotion by sinusoidal hip movements during fictive locomotion. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 118, 229–239.Google Scholar
  4. Bässler, U. (1986). Afferent control of walking movements in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra. II. Reflex reversal and the release of the swing phase in the restrained foreleg. Journal of Comparative Physiology 158, 351–362.Google Scholar
  5. Bush, B.M.H. (1981). Non-impulsive stretch receptors in crustaceans. In Neurones without Impulses: their Significance for Vertebrate and Invertebrate Nervous Systems. Society for Experimental Biology Seminar Series 6, ed. Roberts, A. and Bush, B.M.H., pp. 147–176. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge`.Google Scholar
  6. Cattaert, D., El Manira, A., and Clarac, F. (1992). Direct evidence for presynaptic inhibitory mechanisms in crayfish sensory afferents. Journal of Neurophysiology 67, 610–624.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chrachri, A. and Clarac, F. (1989). Synaptic connections between motor neurons and interneurons in the fourth thoracic ganglion of the crayfish, Procambarus clarkii. Journal of Neurophysiology 62, 1237–1250.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. DiCaprio, R.A. and Clarac, F. (1981). Reversal of a walking leg reflex elicited by a muscle receptor. Journal of Experimental Biology 90, 197–203.Google Scholar
  9. Elson, R.C., Sillar, K.T. and Bush, B.M.H. (1992). Identified proprioceptive afferents and motor rhythm entrainment in the crayfish walking system. Journal of Neurophysiology 67, 530–546.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hasan, Z. and Stuart, D.G. (1988). Animal solutions to problems of movement control: the role of proprioceptors. Annual Review of Neuroscience 11, 199–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hultborn, H. (1994). “Autogenetic” excitation of extensors during locomotion. This volume. Katz, P.S. (1994). Neuromodulation and motor pattern generation in the crustacean stomatogastric system. This volume.Google Scholar
  12. Loeb, G.E. (1985). Motor neuron task groups: coping with kinematic heterogeneity. Journal of Experimental Biology 115, 137–146.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. McCrea, D., Shefchyk, S. and Pearson, K.G. (1994). Activation of golgi tendon organ afferents produces disynaptic excitation and not inhibition of synergists during fictive locomotion. This volume.Google Scholar
  14. Sillar, K.T. and Skorupski, P. (1986). Central input to primary afferent neurons in crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus, is correlated with rhythmic motor output of thoracic ganglia. Journal of Neurophysiology 55, 678–688.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Sillar, K.T., Skorupski, P., Elson, R.C. and Bush, B.M.H. (1986). Two identified afferent neurones entrain a central locomotor rhythm generator. Nature 323, 440–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Skorupski, P. (1992). Synaptic connections between nonspiking afferent neurons and motor neurons underlying phase-dependent reflexes in crayfish. Journal of Neurophysiology 67, 664–679.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Skorupski, P. and Bush, B.M.H. (1992). Parallel reflex and central control of promotor and receptor motorneurons in crayfish. Proceedings of the Royal Society series B 249, 7–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Skorupski, P., Rawat, B.M. and Bush, B.M.H. (1992). Heterogeneity and central modulation of feedback reflexes in crayfish motor pool. Journal of Neurophysiology 67, 648–663.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Skorupski, P. and Sillar, K.T. (1986). Phase-dependent reversal of reflexes mediated by the thoracocoxal muscle receptor organ in the crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus. Journal of Neurophysiology 55, 689–695.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Skorupski, P. and Sillar, K.T. (1988). Central synaptic coupling of walking leg motor neurones in the crayfish: implications for sensorimotor integration. Journal of Experimental Biology 140, 355–380.Google Scholar
  21. Skorupski, P., Vescovi, PJ. and Bush, B.M.H. (1994). Integration of positive and negative feedback loops in a crayfish muscle. Journal of Experimental Biology 187, 305–313.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Windhorst, U., Hamm, T.M. and Stuart, D.G. (1989). On the function of muscle and reflex partitioning. Behavioural and Brain Science 12, 629–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Skorupski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations