In bush‐crickets the first stage of central auditory processing occurs in the prothoracic ganglion. About 15 to 50 different auditory dorsal unpaired median neurons (DUM neurons) exist but they have not been studied in any detail. These DUM neurons may be classified into seven different morphological types, although, there is only limited correlation between morphology and physiological responses. Ninety seven percent of the stained neurons were local, 3% were intersegmental. About 90% project nearly exclusively into the auditory neuropile, and 45% into restricted areas therein. Lateral extensions overlap with the axons of primary auditory sensory neurons close to their branching point. DUM neurons are typically tuned to frequencies covering the range between 2 and 50 kHz and thereby may establish a filter bank for carrier frequency. Less than 10% of DUM neurons have their branches in adjacent and more posterior regions of the auditory neuropile and are mostly tuned to low frequencies, less sensitive than the other types and respond to vibration. Thirty five percent of DUM show indications of inhibition, either through reduced responses at higher intensities, or by hyperpolarizing responses to sound. Most DUM neurons produce phasic spike responses preferably at higher intensities. Spikes may be elicited by intracellular current injection. Preliminary data suggest that auditory DUM neurons have GABA as transmitter and therefore may inhibit other auditory interneurons. From all known local auditory neurons, only DUM neurons have frequency specific responses which appear suited for local processing relevant for acoustic communication in bush crickets.
The Journal of Comparative Neurology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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