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Change in the Response of Spiders To Repeated Web Vibrations

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1. The resting position and response to vibrations differ in Arancidae and Uloboridae according to the consistency of the spiral thread. 2. Repeated rhythmic recurrence of the vibration stimulus brings about waning of the response. 3. Response decrement to vibrations of the web is not caused by motor fatigue. 4. The process of response waning is gradual. During the first phase, a slowing down of the response takes place; during the later phase, partial activities disappear and, finally, the responses wane completely. Response waning shows fluctuations. 5. Displacement activities and short latencies of the released responses during the phase of response decrement indicate a high level of sensitivity to vibrations. 6. Renewed release of the response after changing the vibration place proves that the extinction was not caused by adaptation of the receptors to a given vibration intensity. 7. Delayed returns to the hub, delayed responses, turns in the direction opposite to the vibrating radius, returns to the resting position before removal of the vibrating needle, and release of incomplete responses at short latency periods suggest the appearance of inhibiting impulses. 8. The recovery level after a 24-hour interval decreases during successive days of the experiment, independently of the number of tests. 9. Changes in the rate of response decrement and in the recovery level on successive days of the experiment indicate the preservation of long-lasting representations from one day to the next. 10. Rise of the threshold level causes weakening and slowing down of the response, while the appearance of inhibiting impulses brings about waning of the response to vibrations.

Affiliations: 1: (Dept. of Zoology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel


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