3-D-orientation with the octavolateralis system

Bleckmann, H.

Journal of Physiology Paris 98(1-3): 53-65


ISSN/ISBN: 0928-4257
PMID: 15477022
DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2004.03.015
Accession: 011672407

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Fish detect and localize a sound source with inner ear receptors and with the mechanosensory lateral line. The inner ear of fish is sensitive to the water displacements caused by sound waves through a direct, inertial response by hair cell epithelia of the ear. Hearing specialists, such as goldfish and herring, have accessory peripheral structures that provide additional sensitivity to the pressure component of a sound wave. While the inner ear of fish responds to the whole body motions caused by sound waves and- in case of hearing specialists-to sound pressure, the lateral line is only sensitive to water motions relative to the surface of the fish and to local pressure gradients. Using lateral line and/or acoustic input, some fish can determine the direction and the distance to a sound source. Most likely they do so by exploiting some of the mechanisms described in this paper. Piscivorous fish may use lateral line input to detect the wakes caused by swimming fish. Even in the absence of light catfish, for instance, can follow a 10 s old, three-dimensional wake left by a prey fish over distances up to 55 prey-body length. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.