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TitleElectrosensory Contrast Signals for Interacting Weakly Electric Fish.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsYu, Na, Ginette Hupé, Andre Longtin, and John E. Lewis
JournalFront Integr Neurosci
Date Published2019

Active sensory systems have evolved to properly encode natural stimuli including those created by conspecifics, yet little is known about the properties of such stimuli. We consider the electrosensory signal at the skin of a fixed weakly electric fish in the presence of a swimming conspecific. The dipole recordings are obtained in parallel with video tracking of the position of the animals. This enables the quantification of the relationships between the recording dipole and the positions of the head, midbody and tail of the freely swimming fish. The contrast of the signal at the skin is shown to be well-fitted by a decreasing exponential function of distance. It is thus anti-correlated with distance; it is also correlated with the second envelope (i.e., the envelope of the envelope) of the raw recorded signal. The variance of the contrast signal is highest at short range. However, the coefficient of variation (CV) of this signal increases with distance. We find a range of position and associated contrast patterns under quasi-2D swimming conditions. This is quantified using global measures of the visit times of the free fish within measurable range, with each visit causing a bump in contrast. The durations of these bumps as well as the times between these bumps are well reproduced by a doubly stochastic process formed by a dichotomous (two-state) noise with Poisson statistics multiplying a colored noise [Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) process]. Certain rapid body movements such as bending or turning are seen to produce contrast drops that may be part of cloaking strategies.

Alternate JournalFront Integr Neurosci
PubMed ID31417374
PubMed Central IDPMC6684737