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Representation of sensory information in the cricket cercal sensory system. I. Response properties of the primary interneurons

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Miller, J. P., Jacobs, G. A., & Theunissen, F. E. (1991). Representation of sensory information in the cricket cercal sensory system. I. Response properties of the primary interneurons. Journal of Neurophysiology, 66(5), 1680-1689. doi:10.1152/jn.1991.66.5.1680.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-4CD0-C
Abstract
1. Six different types of primary wind-sensitive interneurons in the cricket cercal sensory system were tested for their sensitivity to the orientation and peak velocity of unidirectional airflow stimuli. 2. The cells could be grouped into two distinct classes on the basis of their thresholds and static sensitivities to airflow velocity. 3. Four interneurons (the right and left 10-2 cells and the right and left 10-3 cells) made up one of the two distinct velocity sensitivity classes. The mean firing frequencies of these interneurons were proportional to the logarithm of peak stimulus velocity over the range from 0.02 to 2.0 cm/s. 4. The other two interneurons studied (left and right 9-3) had a higher air-current velocity threshold, near the saturation level of the 10-2 and 10-3 interneurons. The slope of the velocity sensitivity curve for the 9-3 interneurons was slightly greater than that for the 10-2 and 10-3 interneurons, extending the sensitivity range of the system as a whole to at least 100 cm/s. 5. All of the interneurons had broad, symmetrical, single-lobed directional sensitivity tuning curves that could be accurately represented as truncated sine waves with 360 degree period. 6. The four low-threshold interneurons (i.e., left and right 10-2 and 10-3) had peak directional sensitivities that were evenly spaced around the horizontal plane, and their overlapping tuning curves covered all possible air-current stimulus orientations. The variance in the cells' responses to identical repeated stimuli varied between approximately 10% at the optimal stimulus orientations and approximately 30% at the zero-crossing orientations. 7. The two higher threshold interneurons (left and right 9-3) had broader directional sensitivity curves and wider spacing, resulting in reduced overlap with respect to the low-threshold class.