Neurons in the heart ganglion of the mantis shrimp (a stomatopod crustacean) are functionally tightly linked together. The extracellular action potential from the whole trunk very often shows a complex form, but the response is all-or-none to the applied stimulus, indicating that the excitation in one neuron spreads very rapidly to all others. Application of isotonic MgCl2 solution or repetitive stimulation sometimes separates the spike into its components. The resting potential of the soma membrane is 50 to 60 mv. External stimulation elicits a spike of 60 to 80 mv amplitude with a step on its rising phase. Hyperpolarization reveals one more inflection on the rising phase. These inflections divide the soma action potential into three parts, A1, A2, and B spikes in that order from the foot. The B spike disappears on increasing the hyperpolarization, but A1 and A2 remain, indicating that B originates from the soma membrane, whereas A1 and A2 originate from the two axons of the bipolar cell. Thus the impulse invades the soma from two directions, one from the stimulated side, the other from the other side via the "parallel axons" and the "side-connections;" the latter are presumed to interconnect the axons. When the parallel axons are cut, conduction takes place across the soma with a greatly reduced safety factor and a prolonged conduction time. Neuron-to-neuron transmission takes place in either direction.

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