Response of Forelimb Guard Hair Afferent Units to Air-Jet Stimulation of Entire Receptive Field

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1. In anesthetized, immobilized cats, individual axonal responses to movement of forelimb G hairs were recorded in the ipsilateral cuneate fasciculus at C1-C2 with a glass-insulated tungsten microelectrode. Several test criteria were used to identify primary afferent axons among the recorded neurons.

2. The output discharge in the parent sensory axon during continuous air-jet stimulation of the entire receptive field was irregular and was usually maintained. Criteria for statistical stability were introduced, permitting an analysis of the response as a stable point process.

3. The main interspike interval during the response to maximal air-jet stimulation ranged in different units from 4 to 100 ms, with a transition zone near 20 ms (50/s) between short and long mean interval units. Long and short mean interval units tended to be related to G2- and G1-type hair receptors, respectively.

4. In both short and long mean interval units, the interspike-interval distribution (IID) had a dead time (usually 2-4 ms), a sigmoidal rising limb, a single mode, and a monotonic falling limb, a single mode, and a monotonic falling limb. In short mean interval units, the decrement of the falling limb was described by a single exponential.

5. The value of the standard deviation of the IID was a little less than that of the mean interval minus dead time, the inequality probably resulting from the finite duration of the rising limb and, in long mean interval units, the nonexponential falling limb.

6. Joint interval analysis revealed that successive intervals were independent except in short mean interval units, where the shortest intervals tended to be followed by intervals shorter than the mean.

7. The expectation density function did not reveal any periods in the output discharge. In short mean interval units, a constant mean (plateau) level was attained after a finite rise time and usually one or more overshooting-undershooting sequences. In long mean interval units, the expectation density function monotonically rose to the plateau level.

8. Reducing the air-jet intensity caused an increase in mean interval of discharge and in standard deviation of the IID and slowed the rise time of the expectation density function to the plateau level.

9. Similarities and differences between the whole-field response to air-jet stimulation and the Poisson process are discussed.


Copyright © 1980 the American Physiological Society