Effects of global electrosensory signals on motion processing in the midbrain of Eigenmannia

J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2005 Sep;191(9):865-72. doi: 10.1007/s00359-005-0008-2. Epub 2005 Sep 13.


Wave-type weakly electric fish such as Eigenmannia produce continuous sinusoidal electric fields. When conspecifics are in close proximity, interaction of these electric fields can produce deficits in electrosensory function. We examined a neural correlate of such jamming at the level of the midbrain. Previous results indicate that neurons in the dorsal layers of the torus semicircularis can (1) respond to jamming signals, (2) respond to moving electrosensory stimuli, and (3) receive convergent information from the four sensory maps of the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL). In this study we recorded the intracellular responses of both tuberous and ampullary neurons to moving objects. Robust Gaussian-shaped or sinusoidal responses with half-height durations between 55 ms and 581 ms were seen in both modalities. The addition of ongoing global signals with temporal-frequencies of 5 Hz attenuated the responses to the moving object by 5 dB or more. In contrast, the responses to the moving object were not attenuated by the addition of signals with temporal frequencies of 20 Hz or greater. This occurred in both the ampullary and tuberous systems, despite the fact that the ampullary afferents to the torus originate in a single ELL map whereas the tuberous afferents emerge from three maps.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Avoidance Learning / radiation effects
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Electric Organ / physiology*
  • Electric Organ / radiation effects
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Gymnotiformes / physiology*
  • Mesencephalon / cytology*
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Motion*
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons / radiation effects
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*