Spike-frequency adaptation and intrinsic properties of an identified, looming-sensitive neuron

J Neurophysiol. 2006 Dec;96(6):2951-62. doi: 10.1152/jn.00075.2006. Epub 2006 Mar 29.


We investigated in vivo the characteristics of spike-frequency adaptation and the intrinsic membrane properties of an identified, looming-sensitive interneuron of the locust optic lobe, the lobula giant movement detector (LGMD). The LGMD had an input resistance of 4-5 MOmega, a membrane time constant of about 8 ms, and exhibited inward rectification and rebound spiking after hyperpolarizing current pulses. Responses to depolarizing current pulses revealed the neuron's intrinsic bursting properties and pronounced spike-frequency adaptation. The characteristics of adaptation, including its time course, the attenuation of the firing rate, the mutual dependency of these two variables, and their dependency on injected current, closely followed the predictions of a model first proposed to describe the adaptation of cat visual cortex pyramidal neurons in vivo. Our results thus validate the model in an entirely different context and suggest that it might be applicable to a wide variety of neurons across species. Spike-frequency adaptation is likely to play an important role in tuning the LGMD and in shaping the variability of its responses to visual looming stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Grasshoppers / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying