ARTICLE Extracellular Recording of Light Responses from Optic Nerve Fibers and the Caudal Photoreceptor in the Crayfish

Steven Nesbit, Alexander Van Hoof, Chi Le, James Dearworth
2015 The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education   unpublished
Few laboratory exercises have been developed using the crayfish as a model for teaching how neural processing is done by sensory organs that detect light stimuli. This article describes the dissection procedures and methods for conducting extracellular recording from light responses of both the optic nerve fibers found in the animal's eyestalk and from the caudal photoreceptor located in the ventral nerve cord. Instruction for ADInstruments' data acquisition system is also featured for the data
more » ... collection and analysis of responses. The comparison provides students a unique view on how spike activities measured from neurons code image-forming and non-image-forming processes. Results from the exercise show longer latency and lower frequency of firing by the caudal photoreceptor compared to optic nerve fibers to demonstrate evidence of different functions. After students learn the dissection, recording procedure, and the functional anatomy, they can develop their own experiments to learn more about the photoreceptive mechanisms and the sensory integration of modalities by these light-responsive interneurons.