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The Enigmatic Lateral Line System

  • Sheryl Coombs
  • John C. Montgomery
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 11)

Abstract

Hearing in its broadest sense is the detection, by specialized mechanoreceptors, of mechanical energy propagated through the environment. In terrestrial vertebrates, this typically means inner ear transduction of air pressure waves radiating out from a sound source, though the detection of substrate vibrations can also be considered as a form of hearing. In aquatic environments, the extended contribution of incompressible flow in the near field of the source adds additional complexities, and both incompressible flow and propagated pressure waves are detected by a range of specialized hair cell mechanosensory systems. Hair cells are generalized mechanical transducers that respond to mechanical deformation of the receptor hairs at their apical surface. One of the interesting stories of hearing in general, and in aquatic vertebrates in particular, is how the structures associated with hair cell organs play a major role in modifying or channeling the environmental stimulus onto the hair cell receptors. Hence the peripheral anatomy determines to a large degree what particular stimulus feature is being encoded at the level of the hair cell.

Keywords

Hair Cell Lateral Line Lateral Line System Electrosensory Lateral Line Lobe Superficial Neuromast 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheryl Coombs
  • John C. Montgomery

There are no affiliations available

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