Recent commercial suggestions that insect populations can be controlled through the use of ultrasound raises the question of whether or not certain insects have receptors that are sensitive to high-frequency sound. Single neural unit discharges and compound-action potentials were recorded from the ventral nerve cord in the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana L., to constant rise time tone pulses from 100 to 40,000 hertz (Hz). Unit responses and compound-action potentials show that the cockroach is insensitive to sound above approximately 3,000 Hz. Data relating latency of the response to intensity of the stimulus suggest that the cockroach cercal system operates on the principle of energy envelope detection. Decreases in latency likely occur primarily as a result of increases in the rate of membrane depolarization in cercal dendrites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science