Letter | Published:

Protection from habituation by lateral inhibition

Naturevolume 254pages5355 (1975) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

HABITUATION, or response decrement, functions to reduce an animal's responsiveness to maintained or frequently repeated stimuli, while ensuring high responsiveness to novel stimuli. Under some circumstances, however, habituation is inappropriate, in response to sensory afference caused by an animal's own activities, for example. Mechanisms for protection from habituation under such circumstances are likely to be common. Here we show, in locust movement detector (MD) neurones, that whereas habituation is rapid in response to repeated small field movements it is absent in response to maintained whole field movements. Prolonged whole field movements do not therefore reduce the responsiveness of the MD neurones to subsequent small field movements. Protection from habituation is achieved by lateral inhibition which acts prior to the site of response decrement to suppress the response to whole field stimuli.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Burrows, M., and Rowell, C. H. F., J. comp. Physiol., 85, 221–234 (1973).

  2. 2

    O'Shea, M., Rowell, C. H. F., and Williams, J. L. D., J. exp. Biol., 60, 1–12 (1974).

  3. 3

    O'Shea, M., and Williams, J. L. D., J. comp. Physiol., 91, 257–266 (1974).

  4. 4

    O'Shea, M., and Rowell, C. H. F., J. comp. Physiol., 95 (in the press).

  5. 5

    Palka, J., J. exp. Biol., 50, 723–732 (1969); Am. Zool., 12, 497–505 (1972).

  6. 6

    Horn, G., and Rowell, C. H. F., J. exp. Biol., 49, 143–169 (1968).

  7. 7

    Rowell, C. H. F., Z. vergl. Physiol., 73, 167–194 (1971).

  8. 8

    Palka, J., J. Insect Physol., 13, 235–248 (1967).

  9. 9

    Ratliff, F., and Hartline, H. K., J. gen. Physiol., 42, 1241–1255 (1959).

  10. 10

    Barlow, H. B., in Sensory communication (edit. by Rosenblith, W. A.), 782–786.

  11. 11

    Krasne, F. B., and Bryan, J. S., Science, 182, 590–592 (1973).

  12. 12

    Kennedy, D., Calabrese, R. L., and Wine, J. J., Science, 186, 451–454 (1974).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94720

    • MICHAEL O'SHEA
    •  & C. H. FRASER ROWELL

Authors

  1. Search for MICHAEL O'SHEA in:

  2. Search for C. H. FRASER ROWELL in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Revised

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/254053a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.