The response of giant fibres in the ventral nerve cord to stimulation of cercal afferents with pulses of sound was studied in the domestic cricket, Acheta domesticus. Pulses at 450 Hz gave the highest frequency response in several classes of units, and were therefore used as stimuli in subsequent experiments. In intact animals the response of the giant fibres to bilateral cercal stimulation showed a characteristic high frequency 'on' response followed by steady firing of some units for the duration of the sound pulse. The end of each pulse was followed by a short period of inhibition of the tonic units. Cercal amputation and other experiments showed that input from cercal afferents excites both large and small ipsilateral giants, and excites small and inhibits large contralateral giants. Descending input from higher neural centres in intact animals tends to reduce the responses to the stimuli. It is suggested that a function of the contralateral excitatory and inhibitory effects is to sharpen the 'on' response of the giant fibres to sound stimuli in intact animals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science