The electric organ of G. carapo is formed by linearly arrayed electroplaques which lie in four tubes on each side of the fish. In one tube the electroplaques are innervated on their rostral surfaces, in the others on the caudal. Both surfaces of each electroplaque produce spikes, and either can be excited alone by a suitably oriented externally applied stimulating current. The innervated surface, however, has a lower threshold, and in the normal organ activity, which is a continuous discharge at 35 to 60/sec., it is always fired first by the large neurally evoked postsynaptic potential. The spike of the innervated face then fires the opposite face. The potential recorded external to the innervated face is initially negative and becomes positive when the other face fires. The potential outside the other face is inverted. The p.s.p.'s are electrically inexcitable, have short duration, and are augmented by hyperpolarization. A single electroplaque is innervated by several nerve fibers, which produce summative p.s.p.'s. Homosynaptic facilitation of p.s.p.'s is common. The synapses are cholinoceptive. The organ discharge begins with synchronized activity in the rostrally innervated electroplaques. After a brief interval, the electroplaques in the other three tubes fire. The organ discharge therefore is triphasic, resulting from the summation of the two diphasic components that are oppositely directed and asynchronous. Observations on the sensory role of the organ are included.

This content is only available as a PDF.