Electrical activity in the chemoreceptors of the blowfly. I. Responses to chemical and mechanical stimulation.
The electrical responses of the neurons associated with the various types of chemosensory hairs of the blowfly, Phormia regina Meigen, following stimulation by chemical and mechanical means have been studied. The singly innervated chemosensory hairs on the ovipositor, maxillary palpi, and antennae respond vigorously to chemical stimulation, but not to mechanical stimulation. The triply innervated chemosensory hairs on the labellum, tarsus, and wing have two neurons which respond only to chemical stimuli. The third neuron responds only to mechanical stimulation. The differential responses of the two chemosensory neurons to various chemical stimuli following the removal of the tip of the hair suggest that the structures responsible for chemoreception are located throughout the distal processes of these neurons. The response of the third neuron to mechanical stimulation is similar to the response recorded from the neuron associated with one type of tactile hair which responds to motion and not to steady deformation. Recordings have been made from the neurons associated with purely tactile hairs using the cut hair as an extension of the micropipette. The mechanosensory neuron of the wing chemosensory hair is capable of responding at the rate of at least 600 impulses per sec. and may serve to indicate changes in air flow over the wing surfaces during flight to enable the fly to correct the wing camber and attack angle.
WOLBARSHT, ML; DETHIER, VG
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