Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 323–355 | Cite as

Comparison of electroreceptor, mechanoreceptor and optic evoked potentials in the brain of some rays and sharks

  • C. J. Platt
  • T. H. Bullock
  • G. Czéh
  • N. Kovačević
  • Dj. Konjević
  • M. Gojković


  1. 1.

    Central processing of electroreceptor, mechanoreceptor, and optic input in rays (primarilyTorpedo) and sharks (primarilyScyliorhinus) was studied by recording evoked potentials to both direct nerve shock and natural physiological stimulation. We found that electrosensory input has a widespread, complex central representation; convergence of different modalities occurs in the midbrain, and rays show some consistent differences from sharks in response dynamics.

  2. 2.

    Each modality shows distinct forms of evoked potential with a different dependence on recording locus and depth, and a different sequence of recovery, facilitation and depression on stimulus repetition.

  3. 3.

    InTorpedo, unlike sharks, the trigeminal nerve is quite distinctly divided into electrosensory (ampullary receptors) and mechanosensory (cutaneous) branches; inputs from these major branches have clearly separable central distributions and dynamics, with evoked responses to direct shock of the maxillary branch showing similarities to, and interactions with responses to d.c. fields in the water.

  4. 4.

    Electrosensory and mechanosensory responses in both rays and sharks demonstrate integrative properties already in the medulla, and optic responses also demonstrate early integration, with much longer latencies, in the retina. Prominent, complex, long-lasting responses occur in the tectum bilaterally, but greater contralaterally, with each modality having a different locus of maximum responses. Responses to each modality also occur less prominently, often with different latencies or dynamics, in the telencephalon, cerebellum, and structures deep to the tectum.

  5. 5.

    The various rays were consistently different from the sharks in having slower responses to each modality, much slower following capability to repetitive stimuli, and in being extremely resistant to electroshock convulsion. We suggest that the physiological differences in central sensory responses between these rays and sharks may be relevant in analyzing their different behavior.



Retina Trigeminal Nerve Central Representation Longe Latency Integrative Property 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Platt
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. H. Bullock
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Czéh
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Kovačević
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dj. Konjević
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Gojković
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.International Brain Research LaboratoryKotorYugoslavia
  2. 2.Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, and Neurobiology Unit, Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego, La JollaUSA

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