Sensorimotor Transformations in the Zebrafish Auditory System

Martin Privat, Sebastián A. Romano, Thomas Pietri, Adrien Jouary, Jonathan Boulanger-Weill, Nicolas Elbaz, Auriane Duchemin, Daphne Soares, Germán Sumbre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Organisms use their sensory systems to acquire information from their environment and integrate this information to produce relevant behaviors. Nevertheless, how sensory information is converted into adequate motor patterns in the brain remains an open question. Here, we addressed this question using two-photon and light-sheet calcium imaging in intact, behaving zebrafish larvae. We monitored neural activity elicited by auditory stimuli while simultaneously recording tail movements. We observed a spatial organization of neural activity according to four different response profiles (frequency tuning curves), suggesting a low-dimensional representation of frequency information, maintained throughout the development of the larvae. Low frequencies (150–450 Hz) were locally processed in the hindbrain and elicited motor behaviors. In contrast, higher frequencies (900–1,000 Hz) rarely induced motor behaviors and were also represented in the midbrain. Finally, we found that the sensorimotor transformations in the zebrafish auditory system are a continuous and gradual process that involves the temporal integration of the sensory response in order to generate a motor behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4010-4023.e4
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • audition
  • behavior
  • neuronal circuit dynamics
  • sensorimotor transformations
  • two-photon calcium imaging
  • zebrafish larva


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