Estimation of Signal Characteristics during Electrolocation from Video Analysis of Prey Capture Behavior in Weakly Electric Fish
Weakly electric fish can actively influence the strength and spatiotemporal patterns of incoming electrosensory signals by controlling the velocity and orientation of their body and by adjusting the gain and filtering properties of neurons in the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) via descending control (review: Bastian 1995). To better understand the signal conditions under which the active electric sense normally operates, we have undertaken a set of behavioral studies aimed at characterizing how electric fish use their electrosensory system to locate and capture small prey. Key questions we are pursuing include the range of detectability for small prey; the typical signal magnitude of prey within this range; the typical velocity of the prey relative to the receptor array; the movement strategies of the fish during prey search, localization, and strike phases of behavior; and the spatiotemporal patterns of receptor activation during prey capture behavior and how these patterns relate to the filtering properties of sensory neurons in the ELL. Answers to these questions will be used to guide and constrain our electrophysiological and neural modeling studies.
KeywordsSpatiotemporal Pattern Prey Capture Small Prey Electric Fish Electric Image
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