Spike discharges of skeletomotor neurons innervating triceps surae muscles elicited by white noise modulated transmembrane current stimulation and muscle stretch were studied in decerebrated cats. The white noise modulated current intensity ranged from 4.3 to 63.2 nA peak-to-peak, while muscle stretches ranged from 100 μm to 4.26 mm peak-to-peak. The neuronal responses were studied by averaging the muscle length records centered at the skeletomotor action potentials (peri-spike average, PSA) and by Wiener analysis. Skeletomotor spikes appeared after a sharp peak in PSA of the injected current, preceded by a longer-lasting smaller wavelet of either depolarizing or hyperpolarizing direction. The PSA amplitude was not related to the injected current amplitude nor showed any differences related to the motor unit type. The PSA amplitudes were virtually independent of the stretching amplitude σ, after an initial increase with stretching amplitudes in the range of 15-40 μm (S.D.), or 100-270 μm peak-to-peak. Analyses of cross-spectra indicated a small or absent increase in gain with frequency in response to injected current, but about 20 dB/decade in the range 10-100 Hz in response to muscle stretch. The peaks of both Wiener kernels in response to current injection appear to decrease with the amplitude of injected current, but this decrease was not statistically significant. The narrow first-order kernels suggest that the transfer function between the current input and spike discharge is lowpass with a wide passband, i.e. there is very little change in dynamics. The values of the second-order kernels appear to be nonzero only along the main diagonal. This is characteristic of a simple Hammerstein type cascade, i.e. a zero memory nonlinearity followed by a linear system. Small values of second-order kernels away from the origin and narrow first-order kernels suggest that the linear cascade contributes very little to the overall dynamic response. In contrast to Wiener kernels found in response to current injection, the Wiener kernels in response to stretch showed a decreasing trend with stretch amplitude. The size of the second-order kernels decreased to a somewhat larger extent with input amplitude than that of the first-order kernels, indicating an amplitude-dependent nonlinearity. Overall, the transformation between length and spike output was described as an LNNL cascade with second-order nonlinearities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Computer Science