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Journal Article

Spike responses of "non-spiking" visual interneurones


Hengstenberg,  R
Former Department Neurophysiology of Insect Behavior, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Hengstenberg, R. (1977). Spike responses of "non-spiking" visual interneurones. Nature, 270(5635), 338-340. doi:10.1038/270338a0.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-F152-2
Our understanding of information processing in nerve nets has been modified by the concept of graded signal transmission1. Descriptions of non-spiking interneurones in insects2–8, and the demonstration of graded synaptic transmission3 have contributed to this development. In the fly visual nervous system, second and higher order interneurones are known, which apparently do not produce action potentials6–8. We show here that at least eight individually identifiable movement-sensitive cells, which have the characteristic properties of non-spiking interneurones2 will generate spikes with imposed hyperpolarisation. Their graded mode of operation is due to maintained refractoriness. This applies selectively to neurones, which belong to either of two anatomically, and physiologically distinct classes. Other cell types in the same preparation generate spikes spontaneously.