Insane in the Chromatophores
Posted by Xeno on August 24, 2012
During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid’s chromatophores. The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.
The video shows a closeup of Chromatophores, cells that are used to change the color of the squid. They open an close based on an electric signal from the brain (called a “spike”). By connecting an iPod to the nerve, we can cause those spikes through the current that should normally go to the magnets in the earbuds. It takes low frequency currents to make spikes fire, which is why it seems to only respond to the bass track (“the beat”).
Best viewed with the sound off.