The Mechanosensory Lateral Line

Neurobiology and Evolution

  • Sheryl Coombs
  • Peter Görner
  • Heinrich Münz

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

  3. Morphology, Phylogeny, and Ontogeny

  4. Peripheral Processing: Hydrodynamics, Biomechanics, and Neural Encoding

  5. Central Processing: Neuroanatomy and Physiology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 321-321
    2. Catherine A. McCormick
      Pages 341-364
    3. Barbara Claas, Heinrich Münz, Klaus E. Zittlau
      Pages 409-419
    4. Nico A. M. Schellart, Alfons B. A. Kroese
      Pages 421-443
    5. Barry L. Roberts, Gloria E. Meredith
      Pages 445-459
  6. Behavioral Analysis of Sensory Capabilities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 479-479
    2. John H. S. Blaxter, Lee A. Fuiman
      Pages 481-499
    3. Horst Bleckmann, Gottfried Tittel, Elke Blübaum-Gronau
      Pages 501-526
    4. Andreas Elepfandt
      Pages 527-541
    5. John C. Montgomery
      Pages 561-574
  7. Specialized Lateral Line and Related Sensory Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 589-589
    2. Bernd-Ulrich Budelmann
      Pages 607-631
    3. Christopher Platt, Arthur N. Popper, Richard R. Fay
      Pages 633-651
  8. Prospectus

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 679-679
    2. Theodore H. Bullock
      Pages 681-685
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 687-724

About these proceedings


This volume represents the published proceedings of an international conference on the Neurobiology and Evolution of the Mechanosensory Lateral Line System held August 31 to September 4, 1987, at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Bielefeld, West Germany. The goal of this confer­ ence was to bring together researchers from all over the world to share informa­ tion about a major aquatic sensory system, the evolution and function of which have largely remained an enigma since the 18th century. The "lateral line" or "lateralis" system has been used as an umbrella term to describe what originally (without the aid of modern anatomical techniques) looked like a series of pits, grooves, and lines on the head and trunk of fishes and some amphibians. For at least the past 30 years, however, it has been recognized that the lateralis system comprises not one, but at least two functional classes of receptors: mechanoreceptors and electroreceptors. The relative ease with which the appropriate stimulus could be defined and measured for the electroreceptive class has resulted in an explosion of information on this submodality during the past 20 years. As a result, there is little ambiguity about the overall function of the electrosensory system, now generally regarded as an independent system in its own right. A similarly clear definition for the function of the mechanosensory lateralis system has not been as forthcoming.


Nervous System anatomy behavior development morphology neural mechanisms neurobiology neurophysiology phylogeny physiology

Editors and affiliations

  • Sheryl Coombs
    • 1
  • Peter Görner
    • 2
  • Heinrich Münz
    • 3
  1. 1.Parmly Hearing InstituteLoyola University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Biology Department of NeurophysiologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldFederal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Faculty of Biology Department of NeurophysiologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldFederal Republic of Germany

Bibliographic information