Frequency-intensity characteristics of cricket cercal interneurons: units with high-pass functions

G. Kamper (1) and V. Y. Vedenina (2)

1) Abteilung Vergleichende Neurobiologie, Universitat Ulm, D-89069 Ulm, Germany; Fax: +49-731 502 2629 e-mail:
2) Institute for Problems in Information Transmission, Russian Academy of Sciences, B. Karetnyi per. 19, 10447 Moscow, Russia


Interneurons in the cercal sensory system of crickets respond in a cell-specific manner if the cercal hair sensilla are stimulated by air-particle oscillations at frequencies below about 2000 Hz. We investigated the filter properties of several of these interneurons, and tested the effect of stimulus intensity (typically 0.3-50 mm sm1 peak-to-peak air-particle velocity) on the frequency response in the range 5-600 Hz. We focus on three interneurons (the lateral and medial giant interneurons and interneuron 9-3a) of Acheta domesticus which are characterized by a relatively high sensitivity above ca. 50-200 Hz. The responses of the medial giant interneuron usually increase monotonically with frequency and intensity. Interneuron 9-3a and the lateral giant interneuron exhibit saturation or response decrement at high frequencies and intensities. The lateral giant interneuron has an additional peak of sensitivity below about 40 Hz. Small individual variations in the relative locations of the two response areas of this interneuron within the frequency-intensity field are responsible for a large variability obtained if frequency-response curves are determined for particular intensities. Stimulus frequency does not affect the principal directional preferences of the three interneurons. Nevertheless, if tested individually, the lateral giant interneuron and interneuron 9-3a exhibit small changes of directional tuning.


Sensory systems Neural filter Frequency tuning Low-frequency sound Acheta domesticus