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  • Active Sensing

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Weakly electric fish actively control the sensory imaging process by "electrically illuminating" their surroundings. This allows them to detect, locate and percive their environment. In addition, they use the same energy cariere (EODs) for communication.

For electrolocation they rely on the subtle modulations of the carrier signal. However, these modulations are subjected to a strong decay with distance to an object and non-linear interaction. Additionally, since the carrier is self-generated, all movements of the animal lead to changes of the carrier. Thus szene-analysis requires to distinguish sensory information embedded in a noisy re-afferent input. We are investigating how electric fish gain detailed sensory information by activly manipulating the carrier properies (e.g.: orienting behaviours and exploratory patterns that focus electric input on specific sensory structures or neuronal processes that extract singularities related to the sensory-motor continuity). Active electrolocation is paradigmatic of Jules Vernes "Mobilis in mobile", making electric fish an ideal model to investigate how perceptual consistence can be achived by correlating motor and sensory actions.

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