Documents the jamming avoidance response of the electric fish Eigenmannia.
This research is one of the cornerstones of modern neuroethology and systems and behavioral neuroscience. It is a major contribution to understanding the whole chain of events leading to behavior. Heiligenberg's approach has brought a degree of clarity to our understanding of information coding and processing by the nervous system that is rarely achieved in any scientific undertaking.--James A. Simmons, Professor of Biology and Psychology, Brown University
Part 1 Introduction: why study electric fish?; experimental strategies. Part 2 The behaviour and ecology of electric fish: types of electric fish and their electric organ discharges; evolutionary and ecological considerations; noise and signal interference. Part 3 The jamming avoidance response of Eigenmannia: the experimental opening of a loop; behavioral rules for the JAR. Part 4 Neuronal implementation of the jamming avoidance response: the coding of amplitude and phase modulations by tuberous electroreceptors; the electrosensory lateral line lobe; details in the circuitry of the ELL and its modulation by recurrent descending input from the nucleus praeeminentialis; the torus semicircularis; the gating of amplitude information by phase information - a mechanisms for discriminating the sign of Df; projections of the torus semicircularis - the search for the pathway controlling the JAR; the diencephalic nucleus electrosensorius, a sensory-motor interface; the diencephalic prepacemaker nucleus; the medullary pacemaker nucleus - control of the electric organ; a summary flow diagram of neuronal structures and functions controlling the JAR. Part 5 General principles in the neuronal organization of the jamming avoidance response: the separation of task-specific sensory channels; the central convergence of channels and the conversion of neuronal codes; the representation of stimulus variables in ordered maps; the emergence of "recognition" neurons and motor programs; the distributed processing of sensory information and the shared use of neuronal circuits; the control of motivational states through social signals; recurrent descending loops - searchlights and central representations of sensory expectation?; developmental and evolutionary considerations.
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