By Peter Watson
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In conclusion, we can confirm that a highly symmetrical geometry exists in the midbrain, which must be of some physiological importance. Other than the mushroom bodies, the central complex represents a nondivided bilaterally differentiated neuropile built up of probably only interneurons which serve to connect the two sides of the brain. This complex, found in all insect orders, possesses a constancy of position, of gross composition, and of size (cf. Howse and Williams, 1969) regardless of species specific variations shown by other repetitive regions.
In insect nervous systems endogenous activity was first observed in the isolated cord of caterpillars and beetles (Adrian, 1930, 1931, 1937). Similar activity was later found in the ventral cord of a variety of insects (cf. Roeder, 1953, 1967; Miller, 1960; Fielden, 1960; Fielden and Hughes, 1962; Myers and Retzlaff, 1963). During the last decade more and more evidence has been accumulated that a variety of motor patterns in insects are at least partly organized by central nervous generators such as ventilation (Miller, 1960; Huber, 1960a), flight (Wilson, 1961; Wilson and Wyman, 1965), stridulation (Bentley, 1969b; Eisner and Huber, 1969; Kutsch and Huber, 1970), and walking (lies and Pearson, 1969; Pearson and lies, 1970; Pearson, 1972).
Units were found reacting preferentially to distinct substances, with others showing a wide spectrum in their response to chemical stimuli. Maynard (1956, 1967) made a first successful approach to studying the electric activity in several areas of the cockroach brain during the passage of a single afferent volley elicited by electric shocks applied to the antennal nerves. As illustrated in Fig. 18, potentials were plotted for various time intervals following the stimulation and they were correlated with the brain loci, thus permitting a study of passage of excitation through the brain.
Animal Traction by Peter Watson