Muscle receptor organs in the crayfish abdomen: A student laboratory exercise in proprioception

Bonnie Leksrisawat, Ann S. Cooper, Allison B. Gilberts, Robin L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The primary purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate primary sensory neurons conveying information of joint movements and positions as proprioceptive information for an animal. An additional objective of this experiment is to learn anatomy of the preparation by staining, dissection and viewing of neurons and sensory structures under a dissecting microscope. This is performed by using basic neurophysiological equipment to record the electrical activity from a joint receptor organ and staining techniques. The muscle receptor organ (MRO) system in the crayfish is analogous to the intrafusal muscle spindle in mammals, which aids in serving as a comparative model that is more readily accessible for electrophysiological recordings. In addition, these are identifiable sensory neurons among preparations. The preparation is viable in a minimal saline for hours which is amenable for student laboratory exercises. The MRO is also susceptible to neuromodulation which encourages intriguing questions in the sites of modulatory action and integration of dynamic signals of movements and static position along with a gain that can be changed in the system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2323
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Crayfish
  • Invertebrate
  • Issue 45
  • Neuroscience
  • Sensory
  • Student Laboratory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)


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