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The Octavo-Lateralis Percepton in Lower Aquatic Vertebrates: Clustered Versus Dispersed Sensor Configurations

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

This paper discusses the biological relevance of the topology of octavo-lateralis sense organs in lower aquatic vertebrates. The sense organs of the octavo-lateralis system are arranged either as a dense cluster or as a dispersed set. The dense cluster is situated deep in the head, near the hind brain, and is mainly involved in the detection of uniform stimulus fields. It collects information about distant stimulus sources. The dispersed set is spread over the integument and meets the demands for the detection and interpretation of non-uniform stimulus fields, usually emitted by nearby stimulus sources. It is argued that both the stimulation of the semicircular canals by rotation and the stimulation of the dispersed ampullary electroreceptors in uniform stimulus fields present paradoxes that nevertheless fit this general view.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Comparative Physiology, State University of Utrecht, Jan van Galenstraat 40, 3572 LA Utrecht, The Netherlands


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