Electrolocation based on tail-bending movements in weakly electric fish

Miyoung Sim, Dae Eun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Weakly electric fish generate an electric field with their electric organ to navigate in space, detect objects and communicate with conspecifics. Several studies have examined how electric fish identify objects with their electroreceptors and use electric images for electrolocation. It has been argued that sensor readings from electroreceptors along the rostrocaudal line allow fish to determine the location of a target object. It is well known that the ratio between the maximal slope and the maximal amplitude of the electric image can allow the discrimination of object distances, regardless of object size and conductivity. In order to understand the temporal pattern of electric images, we used a model of electric field perturbation. Using the model, we suggest that the temporal pattern generated at an electrosensor during tail bending is another cue that can be used by the fish to discriminate object distances. The time course of electric sensor signals from a specific electroreceptor when tail-bending movements are applied can provide information about the lateral distance of a target object.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2443-2450
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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