In the stick insect Carausius morosus (Phasmida) intracellular recordings were made from local nonspiking interneurones involved in the reflex activation of the extensor motoneurones of the femur-tibia joint during ramp-like stimulation of the transducer of this joint, the femoral chordotonal organ (ChO). The nonspiking interneurones in the femur-tibia control loop were characterized by their inputs from the ChO, their output properties onto the extensor motoneurones and their morphology. Eight different morphological and physiological types of nonspiking interneurones are described that are involved in the femur-tibia control loop. The results show that velocity signals from the ChO are the most important movement parameter processed by the nonspiking interneurones. Altering the membrane potential of these interneurones had marked effects on the reflex activation in the extensor motoneurones as the interneurones were able to increase or decrease the response of the participating motoneurones. The processing of information by the nonspiking pathways showed another remarkable aspect: nonspiking interneurones were found to process sensory information from the ChO onto extensor motoneurones in a way that seems not always to support the generation of the visible resistance reflexes in the extensor tibiae motoneurones in response to imposed flexion and extension movements of the joint. The present investigation demonstrated interneuronal pathways in the joint-control loop that show ‘assisting’ characteristics.

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