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Behrend, Oliver; Branoner, Francisco; Ziehm, Ulrike; Zhivkov, Zhivko (2008): Lateral line units in the amphibian brain could integrate wave curvatures. In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, Vol. 194, No. 8: pp. 777-783
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Aquatic predators like Xenopus laevis exploit mechano-sensory lateral lines to localise prey on the water surface by its wave emissions. In terms of distance, hypothetically, the source of a concentric wave could be centrally represented based on wave curvatures: for Xenopus, we present a first sample of 98 extracellularly recorded brainstem and midbrain responses to waves with curvatures ranging from 22.2-11.1 m(-1). At the frog, concurrently, wave amplitudes and their spectral composition were kept stable. Notably, 61% of 98 units displayed curvature-dependent spike rates, suggesting that wave curvatures could support an extraction of source distances in the amphibian brain.