Encoding and processing biologically relevant temporal information in electrosensory systems

E. S. Fortune, G. J. Rose, M. Kawasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Wave-type weakly electric fish are specialists in time-domain processing: behaviors in these animals are often tightly correlated with the temporal structure of electrosensory signals. Behavioral responses in these fish can be dependent on differences in the temporal structure of electrosensory signals alone. This feature has facilitated the study of temporal codes and processing in central nervous system circuits of these animals. The temporal encoding and mechanisms used to transform temporal codes in the brain have been identified and characterized in several species, including South American gymnotid species and in the African mormyrid genus Gymnarchus. These distantly related groups use similar strategies for neural computations of information on the order of microseconds, milliseconds, and seconds. Here, we describe a suite of mechanisms for behaviorally relevant computations of temporal information that have been elucidated in these systems. These results show the critical role that behavioral experiments continue to have in the study of the neural control of behavior and its evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-635
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Comparative approaches
  • Eigenmannia
  • Gymnarchus
  • Information processing
  • Jamming avoidance response
  • Time domain


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