Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Paddlefish sensors tuned to detect signals from zooplankton prey

Date:
January 12, 2012
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Neurons fire in a synchronized bursting pattern in response to robust signals indicating nearby food.

In 1997, scientists at the Center for Neurodynamics at the University of Missouri - St. Louis demonstrated that special sensors covering the elongated snout of paddlefish are electroreceptors that help the fish detect prey by responding to the weak voltage gradients that swimming zooplankton create in the surrounding water.

Now some of the same researchers have found that the electroreceptors contain oscillators, which generaterhythmical firing of electrosensory neurons. The oscillators allow the electroreceptors to create a dynamical codeto most effectively respond to electrical signals emitted naturally by zooplankton.

The results are presented in a paper appearing in the AIP’s journal Chaos.

To test the response of paddlefish electroreceptors to different stimuli, the researchers recorded signals from electrosensory neurons of live fish, while applying weak electric fields to the water in the form of computer-generated artificial stimuli or signals obtained previously from swimming zooplankton.

The team then analyzed the power contained in different frequency ranges for the noisy input signals and the corresponding electroreceptor responses, and compared the two. In addition to finding that the paddlefish sensors best encode the signals emitted by zooplankton, the team also found that as the strength of the input signal was raised, the firing of the fish’s sensory neurons transitioned from a steady beat to a noisy pattern of intermittent bursts. This bursting pattern became synchronized across different groups of electroreceptors, increasing the likelihood of the signal reaching higher-order neurons.

This provides a plausible mechanism to explain how reliable information about the nearness of prey is transferred to the fish’s brain, the researchers write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexander B. Neiman and David F. Russell. Sensory Coding in Oscillatory Electroreceptors of Paddlefish. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 2012

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Paddlefish sensors tuned to detect signals from zooplankton prey." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105145841.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2012, January 12). Paddlefish sensors tuned to detect signals from zooplankton prey. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105145841.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Paddlefish sensors tuned to detect signals from zooplankton prey." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105145841.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins