Neuroethology of Species Recognition in Electroreception

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


Two critical stages of information processing are prelude to most sensory recognition tasks: filtering, and coding. Peripheral sensory receptors act either in unison, or as banks of stimulus filters to shape and modify stimuli, and to improve signal detection. Stimuli are then coded into nerve impulses so that information can pass to higher centers. It would be impossible to search for neural correlates for an innate releasing mechanism without knowledge of these two early, fundamental steps in the recognition process. Recognition may take place in a sequence or hierarchy of steps, and in order to understand one, the functions of the earlier stages must be known. Knowledge of the mechanisms of information processing can be used to make predictions about the effects of novel stimuli on behavior. The characteristics of sensory filtering and coding, also shed light on the evolution of function in sensory systems.


Tuning Curve Electric Organ Discharge Playback Experiment Species Recognition Electric Fish 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl D. Hopkins
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Ecology and Behavioral BiologyUniv. MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Physiologie NerveuseC.N.R.S.Gif-sur-YvetteFrance

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