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J Exp Biol. 1976 Oct;65(2):289-308.

The neuronal basis of a sensory analyser, the acridid movement detector system. II. response decrement, convergence, and the nature of the excitatory afferents to the fan-like dendrites of the LGMD.


No dendritic spikes occur in the input fan of the lobular giant movement detector (LGMD) neurone. The action potentials are initiated at the point of thickening of the axon, which therefore represents the site of convergence of the retinotopic projection in the MD system. Previous work has shown that the site of decrement in response to repetitive visual stimulation is distal to this point. No change in spiking threshold in the LGMD could be demonstrated, and decrement in the number of LGMD action potentials is completely explained by the observed decrement of EPSPs recorded in the LGMD input dendritic fan. Possible postsynaptic mechanisms which might affect EPSP amplitude are excluded experimentally or shown to be improbable. Latency measurements during electrical stimulation in the second chiasma (which produces a decrementing EPSP in the fan) indicate that the pathway from the chiasma afferents to the LGMD fan is probably monosynaptic. By exclusion, the site of decrement appears to be located at the presynaptic terminal of that synapse. Generalization of habituation of the response to ON and OFF stimuli is demonstrated, showing that the presynaptic neurone at the labile synapse is an ON/OFF unit. The greater part of the previously described sensitivity gradient on the retina, relative to the MD response, appears to be explicable by the geometry of the LGMD fan and of the retinotopic projection. We conclude that the LGMD is fed by a homogeneous population of ON/OFF units running in the second optic chiasma, which form labile synapses on the input fan.

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