The proposed research is aimed at supplying basic information about mechanisms of sensory processing invertebrates. These studies will exploit a specialized lower vertebrate sensory system, the electrosensory system of gymnotoid fish. Single neuron responses will be studied in all of the brain areas known to process electrosensory information while behaviorally relevant stimuli are presented to the animal. The main questions that I hope these studies will help answer are: 1) """"""""What sorts of changes in acuity or resolution occur as information received over the electric sense is passed through the processing hierarchy?"""""""" 2) """"""""Are regions of the central nervous system specialized to process information of a given modality only during specific behavioral situations and/or do the details of this processing change as a function of the behavioral situation?"""""""" 3) """"""""To what extent is information received via the electric sense integrated with that received over other sensory systems in various brain areas?"""""""" Known aspects of the animals' behavior will influence stimulus design and data evaluation and behavioral experiments are planned in collaboration with an ethologist currently studying these same animals. These studies will estimate the contribution of various brain areas to quantifiable behaviors. The electrosensory system is phylogenetically related to the auditory system of higher vertebrates therefore the proposed studies will not only contribute to our understanding of basic mechanisms of vertebrate sensory processing but they may also contribute to our understanding of the neurophysiology of audition.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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Biopsychology Study Section (BPO)
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University of Oklahoma Norman
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Krahe, Rudiger; Bastian, Joseph; Chacron, Maurice J (2008) Temporal processing across multiple topographic maps in the electrosensory system. J Neurophysiol 100:852-67
Dowman, Robert; Rissacher, Daniel; Schuckers, Stephanie (2008) EEG indices of tonic pain-related activity in the somatosensory cortices. Clin Neurophysiol 119:1201-12
Bastian, Joseph; Chacron, Maurice J; Maler, Leonard (2002) Receptive field organization determines pyramidal cell stimulus-encoding capability and spatial stimulus selectivity. J Neurosci 22:4577-90
Bastian, J; Schniederjan, S; Nguyenkim, J (2001) Arginine vasotocin modulates a sexually dimorphic communication behavior in the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus. J Exp Biol 204:1909-23
Bastian, J; Nguyenkim, J (2001) Dendritic modulation of burst-like firing in sensory neurons. J Neurophysiol 85:10-22
Bastian, J (1998) Plasticity in an electrosensory system. III. Contrasting properties of spatially segregated dendritic inputs. J Neurophysiol 79:1839-57
Bastian, J (1996) Plasticity in an electrosensory system. II. Postsynaptic events associated with a dynamic sensory filter. J Neurophysiol 76:2497-507
Green, R L (1996) How lesioning the nucleus praeeminentialis affects electrolocation behavior in the weakly electric fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus. J Comp Physiol A 179:353-61
Bastian, J (1996) Plasticity in an electrosensory system. I. General features of a dynamic sensory filter. J Neurophysiol 76:2483-96
Bastian, J (1995) Pyramidal-cell plasticity in weakly electric fish: a mechanism for attenuating responses to reafferent electrosensory inputs. J Comp Physiol A 176:63-73

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