Auditory stimuli initiate ascending activity in large fibres of the ventral nerve cord of the cricket, Acheta domesticus, and the cockroach, Periplaneta americana. This auditory responsiveness is reduced during locomotion. An earlier study concluded that the depression of responsiveness was mediated by descending inhibition. However, the auditory responsiveness is reduced during locomotion even after section of the ventral nerve cord anterior to the abdominal recording electrodes. Further, auditory responsiveness of isolated abdomens attached to intact animals is inhibited during locomotion of their hosts. Laminar wind streams over the cerci depress responsiveness to sound, but only at velocities markedly higher than those encountered by freely walking animals. Although the exact mechanism is not known, the depressed auditory responsiveness can occur independently of any descending influences.

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