Intracellular recordings from the chromatophore lobes of Octopus
This chapter is an account of a whole brain preparation that has enabled for the first time to dye-fill, and record intracellularly from, cells in the brain of Octopus. Over a hundred cells in the posterior chromatophore lobes of nearly 50 octopuses were penetrated. Most cells were spontaneously active, firing at 1–12 Hz, some were silent and others showed regular bursting activity. Lucifer Yellow fills confirmed that many cells in this lobe are unusual by invertebrate standards in having cell body ‘dendrites’ as well as axonal processes with branches. Many cells are also dye-coupled. This new preparation could be modified for longlasting intracellular recording in many lobes of the brain of semi-intact cephalopods. Perfused, isolated brains have yielded some information about the electrical properties of large cells in the sub-oesophageal lobes, and activity in some of these cells has been correlated with ventilatory activity of the mantle in semi-intact, perfused preparations, but these preparations are short lived and the supraoesophageal lobes rapidly lose vascular flow. Brain slice techniques are now being applied with great success to the cephalopod central nervous system, but these are not suitable for neuroethological studies. The chapter concentrates on the chromatophore system of semi-intact octopuses, as this has been well characterized and the posterior chromatophore lobes are readily accessible.
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