Recordings were made from single fibers of the rat chorda tympani nerve while the peripheral receptor fields were mapped using a stimulator developed to stimulate single fungiform papillae which in the rat contain a solitary taste bud. The results indicate that several fungiform papillae may supply input to a single fiber, and the most sensitive papilla of these provided, on the average, about one-half of the response of that fiber to stimulation of the entire tongue. The magnitude of the response to each concentration of stimulus and the shape of the concentration-response curves differ among papillae innervated by the same fiber. If one of the papillae supplying input to the fiber was stimulated individually with NaCl solution, application of this stimulus to the tongue surface surrounding the isolated papilla resulted in enhancement of the fiber response. If the papilla was stimulated with NaCl and potassium benzoate solution was applied to the surround, a depression of the response occurred. The excitatory input of the cationic stimuli and the depressing influence of the anionic stimuli interacted to determine the resultant steady-state impulse frequency of the single afferent fiber. A hypothetical model involving the summation of generator currents along the unmyelinated terminals of the single afferent neuron is presented as a speculative explanation of the integration of inputs from several receptors innervated by the same single fiber.

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