The positivity following the spike in the action potential of unmedullated nerve fibers of dorsal root origin (d.r.C) has been shown to be homologous with the first positive potential (P1) of other varieties of nerve fibers. Thus it is only through the large size of the positivity that this group of nerve fibers is set apart from other groups. New findings accentuate and make more explicit the difference of d.r.C fiber behavior from that of the sympathetic unmedullated fibers.
Support of the conclusion is derived from re-examination of the A fibers as well as from observations on the d.r.C fibers.
Increase in size of the P1's in a tetanus of the d.r.C fibers can occur if the frequency is high enough; and it does not occur in an A fiber tetanus if the frequency is low enough. Frequency is also critical in the obtainment of increasing P1's in a tetanus of sympathetic C fibers.
Decrease in the size of the P1's in the course of a tetanus is attributable to development of the negative after-potential (N a-p). In rested d.r.C fibers the N a-p is latent. But it appears during a tetanus, develops in size, and after the tetanus leads to a long lasting and clearly defined second positive potential.
Absence of a supernormal period during the N a-p of the d.r.C fibers is accounted for.
An analysis is made of the apparent increase in size of the spike elevations during a tetanus, for the two subgroups of the C fibers.
The difference between the after-potentials of A fibers and of sympathetic C fibers is correlated with the shapes of the curves of cathodal electrotonus of these fibers.