Cutaneous electroreceptors in the platypus: A new mammalian receptor

A. Iggo, U. Proske, A. K. McIntyre, J. E. Gregory

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This chapter talks about a new mammalian receptor known as Cutaneous electroreceptors in the platypus. Electroreceptors are present in the skin of many species of fish and some amphibians. They are part of the lateral line-eighth nerve system, and comprise two major types, the ampullary variety (e.g., the ampullae of Lorenzini), and tuberous organs. The most effective excitatory conditions for the receptors found in several experiments is to have the cathodal pole of the stimulating dipole at the orifice of the ms gland. The physiological state of the receptor terminal can probably be regarded as an unstable equilibrium because many of the afferent fibres discharge continuously in the absence of an external stimulus. Modulation of ongoing activity in the nerve terminal would presumably facilitate the detection of small changes in the potential field surrounding the animal, and enable the receptor to signal both increases and decreases of field strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1988

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