Independent coding of wind direction in cockroach giant interneurons Academic Article uri icon


  • Independent coding of wind direction in cockroach giant interneurons. J. Neurophysiol. 78: 2655-2661, 1997. In this study we examined the possible role of cell-to-cell interactions in the localization processing of a wind stimulus by the cockroach cercal system. Such sensory processing is performed primarily by pairs of giant interneurons (GIs), a group of highly directional cells. We have studied possible interactions among these GIs by comparing the wind sensitivity of a given GI before and after removing another GI with the use of photoablation. Testing various combinations of GI pairs did not reveal any suprathreshold interactions. This was true for all unilateral GI pairs on the left or right side as well as all the bilateral GI pairs (left and right homologues). Those experiments in which we were able to measure synaptic activity did not reveal subthreshold interactions between the GIs either. We conclude that the GIs code independently for a given wind direction without local GI-GI interactions. We discuss the possible implications of the absence of local interactions on information transfer in the first station of the escape circuit.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997