Responses of ascending interneurons from the caudal ganglion of crayfish have been recorded from single units isolated by dissection from the ventral nerve cord; in addition, post-synaptic activity within the ganglionic neuropile has been studied with intracellular micropipettes. The following classes of interneurons have been found: (1) Large fibers which responded to tactile stimuli with single spikes or phasic bursts. These units usually showed broad receptive fields; and spontaneous activity, when present, showed transitory depressions following responses to natural stimuli. (2) A group of fibers, including many small ones, which responded to proprioceptive stimuli with tonic discharges of varying adaptation rate. (3) Interneurons which showed responses both to tactile stimuli and to activation of the sixth ganglion photoreceptor; and (4) units with constant frequency discharges which were unmodifiable by any of the above afferent inputs.
Intracellular recording of post-synaptic activity has shown (1) that widely graded excitatory post-synaptic potentials occur; (2) that multiple firing from single synaptic potentials is usual; (3) that the post-synaptic responses to phasic natural stimuli and to electrical stimulation of ganglionic roots are similar.
The existence of widely graded post-synaptic potentials and of extensive receptive fields suggests a high degree of convergence from primary afferents to interneurons. The activation of such post-synaptic units involves integrative synaptic transfer, without 1:1 correspondence between pre- and post-fiber activity.