Unidirectional Rotation Neurones in the Optomotor System of the Crab, Carcinus


1. Among the optomotor fibres to the eye muscles in Carcinus a class was found which responds to unidirectional fast rotations around various body axes. All had large signals and are therefore of large diameter.

2. In one set of these fibres which fires especially for rotations around the dorsoventral axis, it could be shown that discharges take place especially during accelerations and that, when a rotation in the null direction is suddenly stopped, a short discharge occurs. The fibres for other axes behave in a similar manner.

3. For rotations around the ventro-dorsal axis, but not for other directions, mediumsized fibres are present which, in contrast to the fast fibres, respond to visual stimulation, as well as to body rotations in darkness, thus combining the input properties of the unidirectional fast rotatory and the unidirectional purely optokinetic small fibres. Their sensitivity to visual input is for low rotation velocities, to body rotations is for high rotation velocities.