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A description is made of the patterns of electrical activity in the proximal musclesof the cricket foreleg during restrained locomotion and seeking movements, while the animal is held by the mesonotum, allowing the legs complete freedom of movement.
The initiation of the swing phase corresponds to the onset of the abductor muscle activity (Fig. 1). Its duration is matched by that of abduction-promotion and does not depend on the step frequency. Leg position is more variable at the end of the stance than at the end of the swing.
The promotor and abductor muscle activities are linked (Fig. 2). At least three units can be distinguished in each and the duration of their bursts is independent of the period (Fig. 3).
In the double depressors of the trochanter, muscles 77-lb,c (Fig. 4), one unit per muscle was identified, bursting during the swing phase. The duration of the burst is independent of the period. Some isolated potentials occasionally occur during the stance phase.
The overall activity in the lateral and medial remotors is coupled to the period; three main patterns can be described, depending upon the muscle bundle and the velocity of movement (Fig. 5).
In the coxal depressors two patterns of activity are described which depend on velocity of stepping (Fig. 6): (i) during regular and fast stepping (at frequencies greater than 2–5 Hz), the activity is coupled to that of the double depressors; (ii) during slow or irregular stepping, the activity is biphasic: an initial burst is followed after a latency correlated to the period by a second one in the second half of the stance phase. Conversely, the latency between the end of the second burst and the onset of the following abductor burst does not depend on the period. In most cases, a fast neurone (large amplitude, short phasic activation) is recruited when a slow one reaches high rates of discharge.