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Input Sources and Properties of Position-Sensitive Oculomotor Fibres in the Rock Lobster, Panulirus Interruptus (Randall)


1. Sets of head-up, head-down, eye-up and eye-down motor fibres were studied in the oculomotor nerve of the rock lobster. An eye-withdrawal fibre was also investigated.

2. Apart from the statocyst input, light distribution on the eyes has the strongest influence on the position-sensitive fibres. Weaker optokinetic input from moving targets is also present.

3. Strongly habituating input is obtained from the antennal joints. This input causes orientation of the eye toward the direction in which the antenna points.

4. The same antennule movement in the vertical plane can result in either excitation or inhibition of the head-down fibre, suggesting the presence of two opposing inputs, presumably from the statocysts and basal joint receptors of the antennule.

5. The inputs on to the position-sensitive fibres which indicate body position are such as to stabilize the eye position in space during body movement. The optokinetic and antennal joint inputs are probably involved in tracking and antennal pointing reactions.

6. The eye-withdrawal fibre is stimulated by touch of the head and around the eye, but is inhibited by the excited state.