Within less than half a second, the rattlesnake aims, delivers, and releases its normal strike at natural prey. Central to the success of this normal feeding behavior, and thus to the rattlesnake's very survival, is the use of sight and of special heat-sensitive organs, the facial pits. The purpose of Dr. Kardong's research is to discover how adept the snake's central nervous system might be at compensating if the eyes or the heat-sensitive pit were unavailable. In order to determine how the absence of sensory information might affect the rattlesnake's predatory strike, Dr. Kardong will carry out experiments in which each of these sense organs is temporarily covered and the ensuing strike is described in detail. This research has the potential to contribute to understanding how the vertebrate nervous system processes incoming information. Specifically, the results of Dr. Kardong's experiments will bear on the important questions of how the nervous system processes parallel information from several different sensory sources and how it might compensate for missing information.