Responses of cells of posterior lateral line lobe to activation of electroreceptors in a mormyrid fish. Academic Article uri icon


  • Activity of neurons in the lateral line lobe was studied by intracellular recording of responses to stimulation of the lateral line nerves and of electroreceptors on the skin surface. Two modes of activation occur for cells responding to inputs from medium receptors. There is a direct monosynaptic input mediated by a single fiber. Short latency of response and antidromic spread from cell to afferent fiber indicate that the mediating synapse is electrotonic. The second input is from a number of additional fibers and is relayed, presumably by the granule cells. At shortest latency this input is disynaptic, probably involving at least one electrotonic synapse. A relay is indicated by heterosynaptic facilitation of the PSP and by pronounced depression with repetitive stimulation. The monosynaptic input may be on the axon. Disynaptic inputs are distributed over the dendrites, and impulses can arise in the dendrites. What appear to be spikes restricted to dendritic regions are often recorded as small brief potentials in the cell body. There is a somatotopic projection of the electroreceptors to the lateral line lobe. The monosynaptic input comes from a specific receptor in the periphery. Strong disynaptic inputs come from a group of receptors generally found anterior, but less commonly posterior or lateral, to the receptor giving rise to the monosynaptic input. Additional inputs that are inhibitory come from surrounding receptors. The inhibition only affects responses to the disynaptic input. The different inputs and multiple sites of impulse initiation must modify the cell's response as compared with the input-output relations that would be obtained with inputs acting on a single summation point. Cells responding to activation of large receptors are infrequent. They are characterized by low threshold, little latency change near threshold, and ability to follow high frequencies of stimulation.

publication date

  • July 1976