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J Comp Physiol A. 1996 Nov;179(5):653-74.

Motor control of the jamming avoidance response of Apteronotus leptorhynchus: evolutionary changes of a behavior and its neuronal substrates.

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1
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0202, USA.

Abstract

The two closely related gymnotiform fishes, Apteronotus and Eigenmannia, share many similar communication and electrolocation behaviors that require modulation of the frequency of their electric organ discharges. The premotor linkages between their electrosensory system and their medullary pacemaker nucleus, which controls the repetition rate of their electric organ discharges, appear to function differently, however. In the context of the jamming avoidance response, Eigenmannia can raise or lower its electric organ discharge frequency from its resting level. A normally quiescent input from the diencephalic pre-pacemaker nucleus can be recruited to raise the electric organ discharge frequency above the resting level. Another normally active input, from the sublemniscal pre-pacemaker nucleus, can be inhibited to lower the electric organ discharge frequency below the resting level (Metzner 1993). In contrast, during a jamming avoidance response, Apteronotus cannot lower its electric organ discharge frequency below the resting level. The sublemniscal pre-pacemaker is normally completely inhibited and release of this inhibition allows the electric organ discharge frequency to rise during the jamming avoidance response. Further inhibition of this nucleus cannot lower the electric organ discharge frequency below the resting level. Lesions of the diencephalic pre-pacemaker do not affect performance of the jamming avoidance response. Thus, in Apteronotus, the sublemniscal pre-pacemaker alone controls the changes of the electric organ discharge frequency during the jamming avoidance response.

PMID:
8888577
DOI:
10.1007/bf00216130
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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