Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
G. Troy Smith
Sensory systems have to extract useful information from environments awash in noise and confounding input. Studying how salient signals are encoded and filtered from these natural backgrounds is a key problem in neuroscience. Communication is a particularly tractable tool for studying this problem, as it is a ubiquitous task that all organisms must accomplish, easily compared across species, and is of significant ethological relevance. In this chapter I describe the current knowledge of what is both known and still unknown about how sensory systems are adapted for the challenges of encoding conspecific signals, particularly in environments complicated by conspecific-generated noise. The second half of this chapter describes why weakly electric fish are particularly suited to investigating how communication can shape the nervous system to accomplish this task.
Allen, Kathryne M., "Amazon Nights II: Electric Boogaloo-Neural Adaptations for Communication in Three Species of Weakly Electric FIsh" (2019). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3823.