By J. E. Treherne, M. J. Berridge, V. B. Wigglesworth

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It may well be that there are real differences between the species used, but this explanation cannot be invoked to reconcile the results of Arab (1957) with those of Getting and Steinhardt (1972). It seems possible that differences in the method of application of the stimulus t o the labellum might have been responsible for some of the differences between the results. The method used by Getting and Steinhardt is very strictly defined and their results should therefore be the more readily interpretable.

Some consideration has been given to the possibility that events during feeding might directly cause, in some part of the nervous system, long-term changes which render P. regina more or less refractory to subsequent tarsal stimulation with sugar solutions. Evans and Dethier (1957) pointed out and argued fairly convincingly against the possibility that a long-lasting state of refractoriness might be induced in the external chemoreceptors of the tarsi. Similarly Dethier and Bodenstein (1958) considered and regarded as unlikely the possibility that the CNS may have been rendered unresponsive by changes induced by the motor activity on sensory feedback which accompanies the actual act of ingestion.

The level of input from these receptors is known t o depend on the degree of distension of the fore-gut which, as pointed out by Gelperin (1972), depends not only on the rate at which material enters the mid-gut from the crop, but also on the rate at which it passes through the cardiac valve t o the mid-gut. Since we lack precise information about the degree of distension at various times after feeding, we are in no position t o exclude the possibility that the time course of threshold elevation after feeding might be following, faithfully, changes in the degree of fore-gut distension.

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