1. Efferent impulses have been recorded from branches of lateral-line nerves. The functional significance of the efferent innervation and its action on afferent impulse activity has been examined.

2. Neither mechanical stimulation of the lateral-line receptors nor electrical stimulation of afferent nerves excites lateral-line efferent activity.

3. Trains of efferent impulses accompany all active movements for their duration. In immobilized animals a close correlation exists between impulses in lateral-line efferent nerve fibres and motor impulses in ‘large’ nerves innervating ‘twitch’ muscles, but not with impulses in nerves innervating ‘slow’ muscles. A close similarity also exists between impulse activity in different lateral-line efferent fibres.

4. Whereas electrical stimulation of ascending tracts in the spinal cord fails to excite lateral-line efferent fibres, stimulation of the spinal cord in the region of descending reticular motor axons causes efferent impulses to follow each pulse after brief, constant, latencies. It is suggested that the efferent neurones may be innervated by axon collaterals from reticular cells.

5. Electrical stimulation of efferent fibres innervating a lateral-line receptor produces transitory inhibition of impulse activity in the afferent nerve fibres. The inhibition has a long variable latency (11-30 ms) and persists for 40-60 ms. Upon cessation of inhibition, caused by a train of efferent impulses, afferent impulses reappear at an accelerated frequency (after-discharge), and quickly return to resting frequency.

6. A role of the lateral-line efferent neurones during active movement is discussed.

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