Ritzman, R.E., Pollack A.J., Tobias, M.L. (1982) Flight activity mediated by intracellular stimulation of dorsal giant interneurones of the cockroach Periplaneta americana. J Comp Physiol 147: 313

After an eight year period of no citations, the paper appeared in a major review of the role of giant interneurons in the orthopteroid orders of insects. Subsequent investigations looked at the way other sensory modalities modified escape response through interneurons not identified as giants The giant interneurons were defined with greater resolution. For example, the dorsal giant interneurons were found to function more during flight. Skepticism toward assigning giant interneurons a primary role in solo activation of a motor response grew with the evidence of sensory input from the antennae, inhibitory interneurons in the terminal abdonminal ganglion, smaller ascending interneurons modulating the response, and changing motivation attributed to the subesophageal ganglion and brain. The role of non-spiking local interneurons in the terminal abdominal ganglion and thoracic ganglion has begun despite the difficulty of assigning polarity to nearby patches of the neural membrane. Finally, novel techniques like the selective suppression of autonomous movement in cockroaches stung by a parasitic wasp lends a view to exquisite natural manipulation which can be recorded electrophysiologically. The easier portion of the story was electrophysiological recording from some of the largest interneurons in the insect, the difficult portion is all the little neurites around the giant interneurons that influence when they fire an action potential.

This page prepared by:
Joseph Sullivan Oct 96, bargraph generated by M. MacIver