To clarify the microscopic mechanisms by which P- and T-receptors encode amplitude modulation and zero crossing time of jamming signals, we present a model of P- and T-receptors based on their physiological and anatomical properties. The model consists of a receptor cell, supporting cells, and an afferent nerve fiber. The basal membrane of the receptor cell includes voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels, Ca2+-activated K+ channels, and leak channels of Na+, K+, and Cl-. The driving force of potential change under stimulation is generated by the voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels, and the suppressing force of the change is generated by Ca2+-activated K+ channels. It has been shown that in T-receptor cells the driving force is much stronger than the suppressing force, whereas in P-receptor cells the driving force is comparable with the suppressing force. The differences in various kinds of response properties between P- and T-receptors have been consistently explained based on the difference in the relative strengths of the driving and suppressing forces between P- and T-receptor cells. The response properties considered are encoding function, probability of firing of afferent nerve, pattern of damped oscillation, shape of tuning curves, values of the optimum frequency, and response latency.
Kashimori, Y., Goto, M., & Kambara, T. (1996). Model of P- and T-electroreceptors of weakly electric fish. Biophysical Journal, 70(6), 2513–2526. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(96)79823-5