Visual Central Processes in Fish Behavior

  • D. M. Guthrie
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 56)


It has been of particular interest to me to participate in the conference on Vertebrate Neuroethology held in Germany, and organized by Professor Dr. J.-P. Ewert at the University of Kassel. The reasons for this lie in the long and unique tradition of research by German biologists into recognition processes, in particular as they concerned the Gestalt properties of stimuli. First put forward by Ehrenfels in “Uber Gestaltqualitäten” published in 1890, these ideas were extended by Westheimer, Kofka and Koehler (Thorpe and Hall-Craggs, 1976), and illustrated some of the ways in which the effective characteristics of stimuli might be isolated. The German School was also one of the first to suggest that a general understanding of visual recognition might be gained through a study of discrimination learning in fishes — a visually capable but primitive group of vertebrates. As a result a list of distinguished authors publishing in German chose to work with fishes. In particular I would like to mention von Frisch, Hamburger, Hager, Horio, Fisher, Meesters, Herter and Saxena, who published work between 1912 and 1966. The 15 species that they studied collectively, included both cultivated and wild species, and one of them was the freshwater perch, which has been the prime subject of our researches.


Receptive Field Spike Train Route Finding Optic Tectum Spike Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Guthrie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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