Australian researchers in an article for The Journal of Neuroscience was first described neural network which processes information from the lateral line in fish. It turned out that the contained cells are localized in specific brain regions and evenly distributed on it. The majority of neurons responded to a flow from head to tail.
One of the most important sensory organs of fish and aquatic amphibians — side line. It is a series of receptors located from head to tail and tracking the flow of water. Thanks to information from the lateral line aquatic animals Orient themselves in space, hunt and interact with other dogs.
Until now, experts had only a basic understanding of how signals from the sideline are processed in the brain. Now a team of Australian researchers headed by Ethan Scott (Ethan K. Scott) from Quislings of the University presented the first description of a neural network that is involved in this process.
The researchers conducted a series of experiments with the fry of zebrafish (Danio rerio). This fish of the carp family (Cyprinidae) is a favorite model organism in experimental biology. Experimental zebrafish was immobilized and placed in a microfluidic setting, which created a controlled flow of water to all lateral lines. The fry were genetically modified so that their neurons light in response to the increase in the concentration of calcium ions. This allowed us to track the response of individual nerve cells to the movement of water, and identify relationships between them.
Adjusting the water flow in the installation and recording the response to these changes, researchers have identified several types of neurons responsible for processing the signals from the sideline. For example, nerve cells located in the ganglia of the lateral line, reacted almost exclusively in the flow direction from head to tail or Vice versa.
In the brain was more subtle processing of information. Scientists have discovered the neurons that kodirovanie the presence, direction, origin, volume, and possibly the flow rate. They were distributed throughout the brain, including areas that were not previously associated with the processing of signals from the side line. A large portion of the detected neurons responded to a flow from head to tail. Information about it is particularly important for floating fish, it is not surprising that it is handled in such detail.
The authors note that when making decisions Pisces combine the data received from the side-lines with information from other senses. To understand how this occurs will help new research.
Recently biologists have created an experimental model in which placed zebrafish inside a virtual reality. It is possible to track the behavior of fish and the activity of their neurons in simulation. The first experiments with it led to the discovery of a group of nerve cells, which are excited by a mismatch of visual stimuli with the movements of the owner.
Sergey Knee High