In axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanun) the labyrinths and the associated parts of the medulla were doubled artificially. In these so-called tandem-heads the vestibular afferent fibres from both labyrinths on one side united within the medulla to form common bundles. The head-turning reflexes following impulse acceleration and during long-lasting acceleration were measured quantitatively and compared with those for normal animals. The form and the time-course of the reactions were almost identical in both groups. Tandem-heads showed a linear relationship between stimulus intensity and reaction strength, parallel to that in normal animals but with a greater reaction for a given stimulus. Consequent to this shift in the relationship, there was a significant decrease in the reaction threshold. The removal of one horizontal semicircular canal in tandem-heads proved that both pairs of labyrinths were functionally connected with the brain. It was suggested that during ontogenesis there exists a kind of specificity in the connexion of vestibular fibres. From the parallel shift of the intensity functions it was concluded that the input from both pairs of labyrinths in tandem-heads is not simply accumulate but compared with a reference parameter, which is also double in tandem-heads.
Quantitive studies of the reactions to horizontal angular accelerations in axolotls. II. head-turning reflexes in animals with a supernumerary pair of labyrinths
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K. Brandle; Quantitive studies of the reactions to horizontal angular accelerations in axolotls. II. head-turning reflexes in animals with a supernumerary pair of labyrinths. J Exp Biol 1 February 1977; 66 (1): 15–31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.66.1.15
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