Document Detail

Responses of cricket cercal interneurons to realistic naturalistic stimuli in the field.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22723476     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The ability of the insect cercal system to detect approaching predators has been studied extensively in the laboratory and in the field. Some previous studies have assessed the extent to which sensory noise affects the operational characteristics of the cercal system, but these studies have only been carried out in laboratory settings using white noise stimuli of unrealistic nature. Using a piston mimicking the natural airflow of an approaching predator, we recorded the neural activity through the abdominal connectives from the terminal abdominal ganglion of freely moving wood crickets (Nemobius sylvestris) in a semi-field situation. A cluster analysis of spike amplitudes revealed six clusters, or 'units', corresponding to six different subsets of cercal interneurons. No spontaneous activity was recorded for the units of larger amplitude, reinforcing the idea they correspond to the largest giant interneurons. Many of the cercal units are already activated by background noise, sometimes only weakly, and the approach of a predator is signaled by an increase in their activity, in particular for the larger-amplitude units. A scaling law predicts that the cumulative number of spikes is a function of the velocity of the flow perceived at the rear of the cricket, including a multiplicative factor that increases linearly with piston velocity. We discuss the implications of this finding in terms of how the cricket might infer the imminence and nature of a predatory attack.
Fabienne Dupuy; Thomas Steinmann; Dominique Pierre; Jean-Philippe Christidès; Graham Cummins; Claudio Lazzari; John Miller; Jérôme Casas
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  215     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-22     Completed Date:  2012-10-17     Revised Date:  2013-07-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2382-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR 7261 CNRS-Université François Rabelais, Av Monge, Parc Grandmont, Tours 37200, France.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology
Air Movements
Gryllidae / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*
Interneurons / physiology*
Movement / physiology
Physical Stimulation
Time Factors
Grant Support

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