Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 97, Issue 5–6, pp 413–421 | Cite as

Resonant properties in the paddlefish electrosensory system caused by delayed feedback

  • Michael H. Hofmann
  • S. Nicola Jung
  • Lon A. Wilkens
Original Paper


Introduction The paddlefish electrosensory system consists of receptor cells in the skin that sense minute electric fields from their prey, small water fleas. The receptors thereby measure the difference of the voltage at the skin surface against the voltage inside the animal. Due to a high skin impedance, this internal voltage is considered to be relatively fixed.

Results We found, however, that this internal voltage can fluctuate. It shows damped oscillations to a single short electric field pulse and changes, with some time delay, according to the previous history of stimulation, and shows resonance at a certain frequency.

Conclusions Computer simulations show that these phenomena can be explained by the presence of delayed feedback where the internal voltage is part of the feedback loop.


Paddlefish Electroreception Delayed feedback 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. Hofmann
    • 1
  • S. Nicola Jung
    • 1
  • Lon A. Wilkens
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Neurodynamics, Department of BiologyUniversity of MissouriSt LouisUSA

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