Lateral Line System

  • Peter Görner
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


The lateral line system consists of water-movement-sensitive sensory organs in the epidermis of cyclostomes, fishes (Chon-drichthyes, Osteichthyes), and aquatic stages of all three orders of amphibians. The phylogenetic origin of this system is not known. Already the oldest known ancestors of the modern fishes, the ostracoderms, probably possessed a lateral line system. At least twice during evolution part of this system evolved to an electrosensitive system, possibly by reduction of mechanical sensitivity and enhancement of electrical sensitivity of the sense organs. Like the labyrinth, the lateral line system derives from dorsolateral placodes.


Hair Cell Lateral Line Efferent Fiber Lateral Line System Superficial Neuromast 
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Further reading

  1. Bleckmann H (1985): The role of the lateral line. In: The Behaviour of Teleost Fishes, Pitcher J, ed. Sydney: Croom Helm AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  2. Dijkgraaf S (1962): The functioning and significance of the lateral-line organs. Biol Rev 38:51–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Russell IJ (1976): Amphibian lateral line receptors. In: Frog Neurobiology, Llinas R, Precht W, eds: Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer-VerlagGoogle Scholar
  4. Sand O (1984): Lateral line systems. In: Comparative Physiology of Sensory Systems, Bolish L, Keynes R, Madrell SHP, eds. Cambridge London New York Melbourne: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Görner

There are no affiliations available

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