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Cockroach Ventral Nerve Cord Report

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Updated: Aug 26th, 2020


The given paper revolves around the cockroach ventral nerve cords main parts, their peculiarities, and the most important characteristics that could be investigated to obtain the data needed to improve the understanding of the functioning of the nerve system. The paper provides detailed characteristics of the cockroach nervous system and the way it responds to numerous stimuli. The main sense organs are analyzed, and the initiation of the main processes that are responsible for the creation of one or another reaction is investigated.

Furthermore, the paper provides a detailed description of the experiment which is conducted to outline the main aspects of the functioning of the cockroach nervous system. Finally, there is a discussion that rests on the obtained data. At the end of the paper, the conclusion is provided. The given research work explores credible sources that contribute to its credibility significantly. Altogether, the paper provides important data needed to improve the comprehension of the given issue.

Main body

The investigation of the main aspects of the functioning of insects nervous system could be considered a common practice in science as it could provide a researcher with the important data that could help him/her to obtain credible results. In this regard, the cockroach nervous system is a good background for the given paper. It is decentralized and has several important characteristics. The central nervous system consists of the ventral nerve cord (VNC), which is linked to the spinal cord and several ganglia (Klowden, 2013).

Along the VNC there are three specific thoracic ganglia and six abdominal ganglia that contain cell bodies of neurons and interneurons (Nation, 2015). Besides, a cockroach has a number of sensory organs similar to those that could be found in humans. Neurons that could be determined in these organs are responsible for converting various stimuli and triggering numerous reactions. Yet, all excitable cells that comprise the nervous system have a certain difference across their cell membranes (Saifullah & Page, 2009).

The given differences predetermine the existence of a significant divergence in the way various cells respond to stimuli and guarantee the appearance of various reactions. Yet, an electrical current passing across a cell could demonstrate their action potential. At the same time, the neuronal cell membrane also contains voltage-gated ion channels that help these neurons to generate the above-mentioned action potential (Cockroach ventral nerve cord, n.d.). In other words, the possibility of the nervous systems cell to respond to various stimuli and generate action potential should be given a great attention as it could help to obtain the important data.

Besides, the way in which a cockroach nervous system responds to numerous stimuli is investigated with the help of the following experiment. The PowerLabs differential amplifier (Bio Amp) is used to record an important data related to the extracellular signals from the cockroach ventral nerve cord. A specially prepared cockroach is used as the object for the investigation.

The above-mentioned equipment will help to record and measure action potentials in the venture nerve cord. These potentials will be generated as the response to various stimuli applied to the sensory spines and hairs in the cerci. Having acquired the data, we compare the showings related to action potentials evoked by different stimuli (Cockroach ventral nerve cord, n.d.).

In the course of the experiment, the following data is obtained. First, cockroach responds to various stimuli in different ways. Yet, spontaneous stimulation has the greatest impact on the central nervous system and generates the most powerful action potential. A cockroach shows a strong reaction and responds in the clear and distinctive way. Additionally, touch could be considered another powerful driver that contributes to the appearance of a certain response. Finally, tap and puff have the almost similar effect on the nervous system. The given data shows that generation of the action potential depends on the kind of irritator and triggers the appearance of a certain reaction that helps a cockroach to survive or act in the appropriate way.

Resting on the above-mentioned data, it is possible to provide the following topics for the discussion. First, one could not deny the fact that spontaneous activity could be considered the strongest stimulus that affects the cockroach nervous system and guarantees generation of a great action potential. A cockroach demonstrates distinct reaction and equipment also admits significant oscillations in the work of neurons and cell membranes. The given pattern could be used to prove the idea that the whole nervous system is focused on the creation of the appropriate response to a certain driver that could be dangerous to a unit (Jabde, 2005). Yet, there are still numerous possibilities for the research as it provides the basis for the further assumptions.

In conclusion, investigation of the main aspects of the central nervous system of a cockroach provides numerous concerns for the discussion. It should be said that its structure and main peculiarities help an insect to provide appropriate responses and guarantee the survival of a unit (Wassmer & Page, 1993). Besides, investigation shows that spontaneous activity and touch should be considered the most powerful stimuli that trigger the appearance of certain reaction and generate action response. Besides, there are numerous opportunities for the further investigation of the given issue.


Cockroach ventral nerve cord. (n.d.).

Jabde, P. (2005). Text book of general physiology. New Delhi, India: Discovery Publishing House.

Klowden, M. (2013). Physiological systems in insects. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Nation, J. (2015). Insect physiology and biochemistry. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Saifullah, A., & Page, T. (2009). Circadian regulation of olfactory receptor neurons in the cockroach antenna. Journal of biological rhythms, 24(2), 144-152. doi:10.1177/0748730408331166

Wassmer, G., & Page, T. (1993). Photoperiodic time measurement and a graded response in a cockroach. Journal of biological rhythms, 8(1), 47-56. doi:10.1177/074873049300800104

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