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Electroreception in catfish: patterns from motion
Peters, R.C.; Loos, W.J.G.; Bretschneider, F.; Baretta, A.B. (1999). Electroreception in catfish: patterns from motion. Belg. J. Zool. 129(1): 263-268
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276; e-ISSN 2295-0451, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Peters, R.C.; Loos, W.J.G.; Bretschneider, F.; Baretta, A.B. (1999). Electroreception in catfish: patterns from motion, in: Mees, J. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 5th Benelux Congress of Zoology Gent, 6-7 November 1998. Belgian Journal of Zoology, 129(1): pp. 263-268, more

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Authors  Top 
  • Peters, R.C.
  • Loos, W.J.G.
  • Bretschneider, F.
  • Baretta, A.B.

    An electrosensitive catfish, Ictalurus melas, was trained into a two-alternatives forced-choice conditioning paradigm to discriminate between the electric fields of two direct-current (dc) dipoles, spaced 12 cm apart, the dipole axes parallel to the swimming path of the subject. The dipole size could be varied between 1 and 10 cm. The dipole current was about 5 µA. When two dipoles of different sizes were presented simultaneously, the subject's electrodiscrimination performance exceed the 85% correct choices level provided the dipole of 1 cm was tested against a dipole with a span of 1.5 cm or more. The average stimulus strength at 1 cm distance from the dipole axis ranged from 1 to 10 mV/ cm. The swimming speed of the subject was 7 ± 3 cm/s. The potential swing over the skin caused the subject passing the dipole, matched the frequency band of the ampullary electroreceptor organs. Apparently motion of the fish with respect to a stationary direct-current stimulus source, or vice versa, generates a biologically adequate form of reafferent stimulation. Without relative motion an electrical dc-source would remain unnoticed.

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