electric fish

Summary

Summary: Fishes which generate an electric discharge. The voltage of the discharge varies from weak to strong in various groups of fish. The ELECTRIC ORGAN and electroplax are of prime interest in this group. They occur in more than one family.

Top Publications

  1. Hopkins C. Convergent designs for electrogenesis and electroreception. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1995;5:769-77 pubmed
    New- and old-world tropical electric fish lack a common electrical ancestor, suggesting that the mechanisms of signal generation and recognition evolved independently in the two groups...
  2. von der Emde G. Distance and shape: perception of the 3-dimensional world by weakly electric fish. J Physiol Paris. 2004;98:67-80 pubmed
    Weakly electric fish orient at night in complete darkness by employing their active electrolocation system. They emit short electric signals and perceive the consequences of these emissions with epidermal electroreceptors...
  3. Sawtell N, Williams A. Transformations of electrosensory encoding associated with an adaptive filter. J Neurosci. 2008;28:1598-612 pubmed publisher
  4. McAnelly M, Zakon H. Androgen modulates the kinetics of the delayed rectifying K+ current in the electric organ of a weakly electric fish. Dev Neurobiol. 2007;67:1589-97 pubmed
    Weakly electric fish such as Sternopygus macrurus utilize a unique signal production system, the electric organ (EO), to navigate within their environment and to communicate with conspecifics...
  5. Fotowat H, Harrison R, Krahe R. Statistics of the electrosensory input in the freely swimming weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus. J Neurosci. 2013;33:13758-72 pubmed publisher
    ..South American weakly electric fish use a self-generated quasi-sinusoidal electric field for electrolocation and electrocommunication...
  6. Rother D, Migliaro A, Canetti R, Gómez L, Caputi A, Budelli R. Electric images of two low resistance objects in weakly electric fish. Biosystems. 2003;71:169-77 pubmed
    ..In weakly electric fish, these currents arise from a self-generated field (the electric organ discharge), depending on the electrical ..
  7. Nelson M, MacIver M, Coombs S. Modeling electrosensory and mechanosensory images during the predatory behavior of weakly electric fish. Brain Behav Evol. 2002;59:199-210 pubmed
    Black ghost knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons) are nocturnal, weakly electric fish that feed on insect larvae and small crustaceans in the freshwater rivers of South America...
  8. Chacron M, Longtin A, Maler L. To burst or not to burst?. J Comput Neurosci. 2004;17:127-36 pubmed
    ..Weakly electric fish use cutaneous electroreceptors to convey information about sensory stimuli and it has been shown that some ..
  9. Chacron M, Maler L, Bastian J. Feedback and feedforward control of frequency tuning to naturalistic stimuli. J Neurosci. 2005;25:5521-32 pubmed
    ..mechanisms that enable neurons within the initial processing station of the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish to shift their tuning properties based on the spatial extent of the stimulus...

More Information

Publications62

  1. Keesey J. How electric fish became sources of acetylcholine receptor. J Hist Neurosci. 2005;14:149-64 pubmed
    ..A brief description of the early history of electric fish concerned with the nature of the discharge will provide the background for studies of the anatomy, embryology, ..
  2. Roberts P, Bell C. Computational consequences of temporally asymmetric learning rules: II. Sensory image cancellation. J Comput Neurosci. 2000;9:67-83 pubmed
    The electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) of mormyrid electric fish is a cerebellum-like structure that receives primary afferent input from electroreceptors in the skin...
  3. Stoddard P. Predation enhances complexity in the evolution of electric fish signals. Nature. 1999;400:254-6 pubmed
    ..In an unexpected turnaround, I show here that predation pressure on neotropical, weakly electric fish (order Gymnotiformes) seems to have selected for greater signal complexity, by favouring characters that have ..
  4. Snyder J, Nelson M, Burdick J, MacIver M. Omnidirectional sensory and motor volumes in electric fish. PLoS Biol. 2007;5:e301 pubmed
    Active sensing organisms, such as bats, dolphins, and weakly electric fish, generate a 3-D space for active sensation by emitting self-generated energy into the environment...
  5. Chacron M, Bastian J. Population coding by electrosensory neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2008;99:1825-35 pubmed publisher
    ..of sensory stimuli in the primary electrosensory nuclei, the electrosensory lateral line lobe, of the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus...
  6. Unguez G, Zakon H. Phenotypic conversion of distinct muscle fiber populations to electrocytes in a weakly electric fish. J Comp Neurol. 1998;399:20-34 pubmed
    In most groups of electric fish, the electric organ (EO) derives from striated muscle cells that suppress many muscle phenotypic properties...
  7. Bass A, Zakon H. Sonic and electric fish: at the crossroads of neuroethology and behavioral neuroendocrinology. Horm Behav. 2005;48:360-72 pubmed
    ..As such, these studies provide guideposts for comparable studies in other groups of teleosts and vertebrates in general...
  8. Kelly M, Babineau D, Longtin A, Lewis J. Electric field interactions in pairs of electric fish: modeling and mimicking naturalistic inputs. Biol Cybern. 2008;98:479-90 pubmed publisher
    Weakly electric fish acquire information about their surroundings by detecting and interpreting the spatial and temporal patterns of electric potential across their skin, caused by perturbations in a self-generated, oscillating electric ..
  9. Hupé G, Lewis J, Benda J. The effect of difference frequency on electrocommunication: chirp production and encoding in a species of weakly electric fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus. J Physiol Paris. 2008;102:164-72 pubmed publisher
    ..As all weakly electric fish, they produce an electric field (electric organ discharge, EOD) and can detect electric signals in their ..
  10. Markham M, Allee S, Goldina A, Stoddard P. Melanocortins regulate the electric waveforms of gymnotiform electric fish. Horm Behav. 2009;55:306-13 pubmed publisher
    ..the role of the HPI and melanocortin peptides in regulation of electric social signals in the gymnotiform electric fish, Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus...
  11. Kennedy A, Wayne G, Kaifosh P, Alviña K, Abbott L, Sawtell N. A temporal basis for predicting the sensory consequences of motor commands in an electric fish. Nat Neurosci. 2014;17:416-22 pubmed publisher
    Mormyrid electric fish are a model system for understanding how neural circuits predict the sensory consequences of motor acts...
  12. McAnelly L, Silva A, Zakon H. Cyclic AMP modulates electrical signaling in a weakly electric fish. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2003;189:273-82 pubmed
    Many species of electric fish show diurnal or socially elicited variation in electric organ discharge amplitude. In Sternopygus macrurus, activation of protein kinase A by 8-bromo-cAMP increases electrocyte sodium current magnitude...
  13. Nelson M, Xu Z, Payne J. Characterization and modeling of P-type electrosensory afferent responses to amplitude modulations in a wave-type electric fish. J Comp Physiol A. 1997;181:532-44 pubmed
    ..a quantitative model of this encoding process for P-type (probability-coding) afferent fibers in the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus, we recorded single unit activity from electrosensory afferent axons in the ..
  14. Doiron B, Chacron M, Maler L, Longtin A, Bastian J. Inhibitory feedback required for network oscillatory responses to communication but not prey stimuli. Nature. 2003;421:539-43 pubmed
    ..Weakly electric fish must detect electric field modulations produced by both prey (spatially localized) and communication (..
  15. Bell C. Memory-based expectations in electrosensory systems. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2001;11:481-7 pubmed
    ..Evidence from all three groups of fish indicates that the negative images are mediated by plasticity at parallel fiber synapses...
  16. Zakon H, Unguez G. Development and regeneration of the electric organ. J Exp Biol. 1999;202:1427-34 pubmed
    ..Ultrastructural examination of denervated electrocytes revealed nascent sarcomeres. Thus, the maintenance of the electrocyte phenotype depends on neural activity...
  17. Marsat G, Longtin A, Maler L. Cellular and circuit properties supporting different sensory coding strategies in electric fish and other systems. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012;22:686-92 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we contrast the encoding strategies for two different communication signals in electric fish and describe the underlying cellular and network properties that implement them...
  18. Schuster S, Amtsfeld S. Template-matching describes visual pattern-recognition tasks in the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii. J Exp Biol. 2002;205:549-57 pubmed
    ..Here, we describe that a vertebrate, the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii, appears to use template-matching to recognize visual patterns that it had previously ..
  19. Caputi A. Contributions of electric fish to the understanding of sensory processing by reafferent systems. J Physiol Paris. 2004;98:81-97 pubmed
    ..This paper describes how these strategies are used in sensory-motor systems, using electric fish as a paradigmatic example. Carrier generation and receptor tuning to the carrier improve signal to noise ratio...
  20. Bol K, Marsat G, Harvey Girard E, Longtin A, Maler L. Frequency-tuned cerebellar channels and burst-induced LTD lead to the cancellation of redundant sensory inputs. J Neurosci. 2011;31:11028-38 pubmed publisher
    ..Using a combination of modeling and experiment, we characterize in detail a cerebellar circuit in weakly electric fish, showing how it can carry out this computation...
  21. Marvit P, Crawford J. Auditory discrimination in a sound-producing electric fish (Pollimyrus): tone frequency and click-rate difference detection. J Acoust Soc Am. 2000;108:1819-25 pubmed
    ..3 Hz per 100 Hz. For click trains, jnd's increased linearly with ICI. The mean jnd's for 10- and 15-ms ICI were both 300 micros (SE= 0.8 ms at 10-ms ICI, SE= 0.11 ms at 15-ms ICI). The jnd at 20-ms ICI was only 1.1 ms +/- 0.25 SE...
  22. Chacron M. Nonlinear information processing in a model sensory system. J Neurophysiol. 2006;95:2933-46 pubmed
    ..linear and nonlinear encoding models in a well-characterized sensory system: the electric sense of weakly electric fish. We show that linear encoding models generally perform better under spatially localized stimulation than under ..
  23. Fortune E. The decoding of electrosensory systems. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006;16:474-80 pubmed
  24. Stoddard P, Markham M, Salazar V, Allee S. Circadian rhythms in electric waveform structure and rate in the electric fish Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus. Physiol Behav. 2007;90:11-20 pubmed
    Weakly electric fish have long been known to express day-night oscillations in their discharge rates, and in the amplitude and duration of individual electric organ discharges (EODs)...
  25. Yager D, Hopkins C. Directional characteristics of tuberous electroreceptors in the weakly electric fish, Hypopomus (Gymnotiformes). J Comp Physiol A. 1993;173:401-14 pubmed
    This paper is an electrophysiological study of the directionality of the tuberous electroreceptors of weakly electric fish. We recorded from two classes of tuberous electroreceptors known for pulse gymnotiforms: Burst Duration Coders (..
  26. Chacron M, Longtin A, Maler L. Efficient computation via sparse coding in electrosensory neural networks. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011;21:752-60 pubmed publisher
  27. Krahe R, Bastian J, Chacron M. Temporal processing across multiple topographic maps in the electrosensory system. J Neurophysiol. 2008;100:852-67 pubmed publisher
    ..These results show that Ca2+-dependent processes play an important part in determining the functional roles of different sensory maps and thus shed light on the evolution of this important feature of the vertebrate brain...
  28. Roberts P. Modeling inhibitory plasticity in the electrosensory system of mormyrid electric fish. J Neurophysiol. 2000;84:2035-47 pubmed
    ..at inhibitory synapses in a cerebellum-like structure, the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) of mormyrid electric fish. Single-cell model results are compared with results obtained at the system level in vivo...
  29. Carlson B, Hasan S, Hollmann M, Miller D, Harmon L, Arnegard M. Brain evolution triggers increased diversification of electric fishes. Science. 2011;332:583-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These results show that neural innovations can drive the diversification of signals and promote speciation...
  30. Chacron M, Longtin A, Maler L. Negative interspike interval correlations increase the neuronal capacity for encoding time-dependent stimuli. J Neurosci. 2001;21:5328-43 pubmed
    Accurate detection of sensory input is essential for the survival of a species. Weakly electric fish use amplitude modulations of their self-generated electric field to probe their environment...
  31. Vonderschen K, Chacron M. Sparse and dense coding of natural stimuli by distinct midbrain neuron subpopulations in weakly electric fish. J Neurophysiol. 2011;106:3102-18 pubmed publisher
    ..representation of stimuli changes across successive brain areas, using the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish as a model system...
  32. Zakon H, Thomas P, Yan H. Electric organ discharge frequency and plasma sex steroid levels during gonadal recrudescence in a natural population of the weakly electric fish Sternopygus macrurus. J Comp Physiol A. 1991;169:493-9 pubmed
    ..5. These results suggest that plasma androgens modulate EOD frequency in males during the reproductive season and that plasma E2 has little relationship to EOD frequency in either sex...
  33. Keller C, Kawasaki M, Heiligenberg W. The control of pacemaker modulations for social communication in the weakly electric fish Sternopygus. J Comp Physiol A. 1991;169:441-50 pubmed
    Nearly sinusoidal electric organ discharges (EODs) of the weakly electric fish Sternopygus, occur at a regular rate within a range from 50 to 200 Hz and are commanded by a medullary pacemaker nucleus (Pn)...
  34. Allee S, Markham M, Salazar V, Stoddard P. Opposing actions of 5HT1A and 5HT2-like serotonin receptors on modulations of the electric signal waveform in the electric fish Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus. Horm Behav. 2008;53:481-8 pubmed publisher
    ..pinnicaudatus via action at receptors similar to mammalian 5HT1A and 5HT2 receptors. The discordant amplitude and duration response suggests separate mechanisms for modulating these waveform parameters...
  35. Lavoué S, Arnegard M, Sullivan J, Hopkins C. Petrocephalus of Odzala offer insights into evolutionary patterns of signal diversification in the Mormyridae, a family of weakly electrogenic fishes from Africa. J Physiol Paris. 2008;102:322-39 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss possible causes and consequences of EOD diversification patterns observed within mormyrid subfamilies as a framework for future comparative studies of signal evolution using this emerging model system...
  36. Kawasaki M. Sensory hyperacuity in the jamming avoidance response of weakly electric fish. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1997;7:473-9 pubmed
    Sensory systems often show remarkable sensitivities to small stimulus parameters. Weakly electric fish are able to resolve intensity differences of the order of 0...
  37. Silva A, Perrone R, Macadar O. Environmental, seasonal, and social modulations of basal activity in a weakly electric fish. Physiol Behav. 2007;90:525-36 pubmed
    The electric organ discharge (EOD) of weakly electric fish encodes information about species, sex, behavioral, and physiological states throughout the lifetime...
  38. Cain P, Malwal S. Landmark use and development of navigation behaviour in the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii (Mormyridae; Teleostei). J Exp Biol. 2002;205:3915-23 pubmed
    ..If no landmark is present, the fish rely on an internal representation oriented to hydrostatic pressure. Larger, early-adult G. petersii located the aperture faster than smaller, sub-adult fish...
  39. Zakon H, Oestreich J, Tallarovic S, Triefenbach F. EOD modulations of brown ghost electric fish: JARs, chirps, rises, and dips. J Physiol Paris. 2002;96:451-8 pubmed
  40. Aguilera P, Castello M, Caputi A. Electroreception in Gymnotus carapo: differences between self-generated and conspecific-generated signal carriers. J Exp Biol. 2001;204:185-98 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that, in pulse-emitting gymnotids, electrolocation and electrocommunication signals may be carried by different field components generated by different regions of the electric organ...
  41. von der Emde G, Fetz S. Distance, shape and more: recognition of object features during active electrolocation in a weakly electric fish. J Exp Biol. 2007;210:3082-95 pubmed
    In the absence of light, the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii detects and distinguishes objects in the environment through active electrolocation...
  42. Hopkins C. Design features for electric communication. J Exp Biol. 1999;202:1217-28 pubmed
    How do the communication discharges produced by electric fish evolve to accommodate the unique design features for the modality? Two design features are considered: first, the limited range of signaling imposed on the electric modality ..
  43. Gussin D, Benda J, Maler L. Limits of linear rate coding of dynamic stimuli by electroreceptor afferents. J Neurophysiol. 2007;97:2917-29 pubmed
  44. Harvey Girard E, Lewis J, Maler L. Burst-induced anti-Hebbian depression acts through short-term synaptic dynamics to cancel redundant sensory signals. J Neurosci. 2010;30:6152-69 pubmed publisher
    Weakly electric fish can enhance the detection and localization of important signals such as those of prey in part by cancellation of redundant spatially diffuse electric signals due to, e.g., their tail bending...
  45. Requarth T, Sawtell N. Neural mechanisms for filtering self-generated sensory signals in cerebellum-like circuits. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011;21:602-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The clear links between synaptic plasticity and systems level sensory filtering in cerebellum-like circuits may provide insights into hypothesized adaptive filtering functions of the cerebellum itself...
  46. Bastian J. Plasticity of feedback inputs in the apteronotid electrosensory system. J Exp Biol. 1999;202:1327-37 pubmed
    Weakly electric fish generate an electric field surrounding their body by means of an electric organ typically located within the trunk and tail...
  47. Graff C, Kaminski G, Gresty M, Ohlmann T. Fish perform spatial pattern recognition and abstraction by exclusive use of active electrolocation. Curr Biol. 2004;14:818-23 pubmed
    The field generated by the electric organ of weakly electric fish varies with the electrical properties of nearby objects. Correspondingly, current fluxes in this field differentially stimulate the electroreceptors in the fish's skin...
  48. Shirgaonkar A, Curet O, Patankar N, MacIver M. The hydrodynamics of ribbon-fin propulsion during impulsive motion. J Exp Biol. 2008;211:3490-503 pubmed publisher
    Weakly electric fish are extraordinarily maneuverable swimmers, able to swim as easily forward as backward and rapidly switch swim direction, among other maneuvers...
  49. Lewis J, Maler L. Blurring of the senses: common cues for distance perception in diverse sensory systems. Neuroscience. 2002;114:19-22 pubmed
    ..distance perception and distance perception using an entirely different sense, the electric sense of weakly electric fish. We discuss previous work on electrosensory psychophysics [von der Emde et al., 1998...
  50. Deemyad T, Maler L, Chacron M. Inhibition of SK and M channel-mediated currents by 5-HT enables parallel processing by bursts and isolated spikes. J Neurophysiol. 2011;105:1276-94 pubmed publisher
    ..We investigated these effects in pyramidal neurons within the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) of weakly electric fish. Surprisingly, we found that 5-HT is present at different levels across the different ELL maps; the presence ..
  51. Carver S, Roth E, Cowan N, Fortune E. Synaptic plasticity can produce and enhance direction selectivity. PLoS Comput Biol. 2008;4:e32 pubmed publisher
    ..salient features of direction selectivity found in a population of neurons in the midbrain of the weakly electric fish Eigenmannia virescens...
  52. Zakon H, Lu Y, Zwickl D, Hillis D. Sodium channel genes and the evolution of diversity in communication signals of electric fishes: convergent molecular evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:3675-80 pubmed
    ..Thus, changes in the expression and sequence of the same gene are associated with the independent evolution of signal complexity...
  53. Gallant J, Hopkins C, Deitcher D. Differential expression of genes and proteins between electric organ and skeletal muscle in the mormyrid electric fish Brienomyrus brachyistius. J Exp Biol. 2012;215:2479-94 pubmed publisher
    ..Mormyrids and gymnotiforms are two highly convergent groups of weakly electric fish that have independently evolved EOs: while much is known about development and gene expression in gymnotiforms,..