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Journal of Physiology, Paris

Rafael T Guariento, Thiago S Mosqueiro, Paulo Matias, Vinicius B Cesarino, Lirio O B Almeida, Jan F W Slaets, Leonardo P Maia, Reynaldo D Pinto
Electric fishes modulate their electric organ discharges with a remarkable variability. Some patterns can be easily identified, such as pulse rate changes, offs and chirps, which are often associated with important behavioral contexts, including aggression, hiding and mating. However, these behaviors are only observed when at least two fish are freely interacting. Although their electrical pulses can be easily recorded by non-invasive techniques, discriminating the emitter of each pulse is challenging when physically similar fish are allowed to freely move and interact...
February 7, 2017: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Jacques Dayan, Géraldine Rauchs, Bérengère Guillery-Girard
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex syndrome that may occur after exposure to one or more traumatic events. It associates physiological, emotional, and cognitive changes Brain and hormonal modifications contribute to some impairments in learning, memory, and emotion regulation. Some of these biological dysfunctions may be analyzed in terms of rhythms dysregulation that would be expressed through endocrine rhythmicity, sleep organization, and temporal synchrony in brain activity. In the first part of this article, we report studies on endocrine rhythmicity revealing that some rhythms abnormalities are frequently observed, although not constantly, for both cortisol and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity...
February 1, 2017: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Frank Kirschbaum, Linh Nguyen, Stephanie Baumgartner, Linda Chi, Rene Wolfart, Khouloud Elarbani, Hari Eppenstein, Yevheniia Korniienko, Lilian Guido-Böhm, Victor Mamonekene, Marianne Vater, Ralph Tiedemann
African weakly electric mormyrid fish show a high diversity of their electric organ discharge (EOD) both across and within genera. Thanks to a recently developed technique of artificial reproduction in mormyrid fish, we were able to perform hybridizations between different genera and within one genus (Campylomormyrus). The hybrids of intergenus hybridizations exhibited different degrees of reduced survival related to the phylogenetic distance of the parent species: hybrids of the crosses between C. rhynchophorus and its sister genus Gnathonemus survived and developed normally...
January 17, 2017: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Julia Canitz, Frank Kirschbaum, Ralph Tiedemann
Karyotyping is a basic method to investigate chromosomal evolution and genomic rearrangements. Sixteen genera within the basal teleost order Osteoglossiformes are currently described cytogenetically. Our study adds information to this chromosomal dataset by determining the karyotype of Campylomormyrus compressirostris, a genus of African weakly electric fish that has not been previously examined. Our results indicate a diploid chromosome number of 2n=48 (4sm + 26m + 18a) with a fundamental number of FN=72. This chromosome number is identical to the number documented for the sister taxon of the genus Campylomormyrus, i...
January 17, 2017: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Juanita Todd, Alexander Provost, Lisa Whitson, Daniel Mullens
This paper features two studies confirming a lasting impact of first learning on how subsequent experience is weighted in early relevance-filtering processes. In both studies participants were exposed to sequences of sound that contained a regular pattern on two different timescales. Regular patterning in sound is readily detected by the auditory system and used to form "prediction models" that define the most likely properties of sound to be encountered in a given context. The presence and strength of these prediction models is inferred from changes in automatically elicited components of auditory evoked potentials...
January 12, 2017: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Theo Mota
Bees are excellent invertebrate models for studying visual learning and memory mechanisms, because of their sophisticated visual system and impressive cognitive capacities associated with a relatively simple brain. Visual learning in free-flying bees has been traditionally studied using an operant conditioning paradigm. This well-established protocol, however, can hardly be combined with invasive procedures for studying the neurobiological basis of visual learning. Different efforts have been made to develop protocols in which harnessed honey bees could associate visual cues with reinforcement, though learning performances remain poorer than those obtained with free-flying animals...
December 18, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Lucila Traverso, Ivana Sierra, Marcos Sterkel, Flavio Francini, Sheila Ons
Chagas' disease, affecting up to 6-7 million people worldwide, is transmitted to humans through the feces of triatomine kissing bugs. From these, Rhodnius prolixus, Triatoma dimidiata, Triatoma infestans and Triatoma pallidipennis are important vectors distributed throughout the Latin American subcontinent. Resistance to pyrethroids has been developed by some triatomine populations, especially T. infestans, obstructing their control. Given their role in the regulation of physiological processes, neuroendocrine-derived factors have been proposed as a source of molecular targets for new-generation insecticides...
December 18, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Sarah Schumacher, Theresa Burt de Perera, Gerhard von der Emde
The weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii can recognise objects using active electrolocation. Here, we tested two aspects of object recognition; first whether shape recognition might be influenced by movement of the fish, and second whether object discrimination is affected by the presence of electrical noise from conspecifics. (i) Unlike other object features, such as size or volume, no parameter within a single electrical image has been found that encodes object shape. We investigated whether shape recognition might be facilitated by movement-induced modulations (MIM) of the set of electrical images that are created as a fish swims past an object...
December 12, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Rossana Perrone, Ana Silva
Animals establish social hierarchies through agonistic behavior. The recognition of the own and others social ranks is crucial for animals that live in groups to avoid costly constant conflicts. Weakly electric fish are valuable model systems for the study of agonistic behavior and its neuromodulation, given that they display conspicuous electrocommunication signals that are generated by a very well-known electromotor circuit. Brachyhypopomus gauderio is a gregarious electric fish, presents a polygynous breeding system, morphological and electrophysiological sexual dimorphism during the breeding season, and displays a typical intrasexual reproduction-related aggression...
December 8, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Chance Bainbridge, Anjelica Rodriguez, Andrew Schuler, Michael Cisneros, Andrés G Vidal-Gadea
The magnetic field of the earth provides many organisms with sufficient information to successfully navigate through their environments. While evidence suggests the widespread use of this sensory modality across many taxa, it remains an understudied sensory modality. We have recently showed that the nematode C. elegans orients to earth-strength magnetic fields using the first pair of described magnetosensory neurons, AFDs. The AFD cells are a pair of ciliated sensory neurons crowned by fifty villi known to be implicated in temperature sensation...
December 8, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Rodrigo Gogui Alonso, Ana Amador, Gabriel B Mindlin
Birdsong is a learned motor behavior controlled by an interconnected structure of neural nuclei. This pathway is bilaterally organized, with anatomically indistinguishable structures in each brain hemisphere. In this work, we present a computational model whose variables are the average activities of different neural nuclei of the song system of oscine birds. Two of the variables are linked to the air sac pressure and the tension of the labia during canary song production. We show that these time dependent gestures are capable of driving a model of the vocal organ to synthesize realistic canary like songs...
December 8, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Laura Quintana, Lucía Zubizarreta, Cecilia Jalabert, Gervasio Batista, Rossana Perrone, Ana Silva
In vertebrates, aggression has been traditionally associated with high levels of circulating androgens in breeding males. Nevertheless, the centrality of androgens as primary modulators of aggression is being reconsidered in at least in two particular cases: (1) territorial aggression outside the breeding season, and (2) aggression by females. We are developing the weakly electric fish, Gymnotus omarorum, as a novel, advantageous model system to address these two alternative forms of aggression. This species displays a short, escalated contest, after which a clear hierarchical status emerges...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Milka Radmilovich, Isabel Barreiro, Leticia Iribarne, Kirsty Grant, Frank Kirschbaum, María E Castelló
The anatomical organization of African Mormyrids' brain is a clear example of departure from the average brain morphotype in teleosts, probably related to functional specialization associated to electrosensory processing and sensory-motor coordination. The brain of Mormyrids is characterized by a well-developed rhombencephalic electrosensory lobe interconnected with relatively large mesencephalic torus semicircularis and optic tectum, and a huge and complex cerebellum. This unique morphology might imply cell addition from extraventricular proliferation zones up to late developmental stages...
November 23, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Yamila Asparch, Gina Pontes, Santiago Masagué, Sebastian Minoli, Romina B Barrozo
Animals make use of contact chemoreception structures to examine the quality of potential food sources. During this evaluation they can detect nutritious compounds that promote feeding and recognize toxins that trigger evasive behaviors. Although animals can easily distinguish between stimuli of different gustatory qualities (bitter, salty, sweet, etc.), their ability to discriminate between compounds of the same quality may be limited. Numerous plants produce alkaloids, compounds that elicit aversive behaviors in phytophagous insects and almost uniformly evoke a bitter taste for man...
November 16, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Robert Güth, Matthew Pinch, Manoj P Samanta, Alexander Chaidez, Graciela A Unguez
Electrical activity is an important regulator of cellular function and gene expression in electrically excitable cell types. In the weakly electric teleost fishSternopygus macrurus, electrocytes, i.e., the current-producing cells of the electric organ, derive from a striated muscle lineage. Mature electrocytes are larger than muscle fibers, do not contain sarcomeres, and are driven continuously at frequencies higher than those exerted on muscle cells. Previous work showed that the removal of electrical activity by spinal cord transection (ST) for two and five weeks led to an upregulation of some sarcomeric proteins and a decrease in electrocyte size...
November 15, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Daniella Agrati, Marcela Ferreño, Gabriella Marin, Natalia Uriarte, María José Zuluaga, Alonso Fernández-Guasti, Annabel Ferreira
This study extends the behavioral analysis of the postpartum estrus (PPE) which represents a unique period in the female rat's lifetime when maternal and sexual motivations co-exist. The aim of this study was to explore how previous and recent maternal experiences influence the maternal responses to pups when confronted with a male in a preference test or when they are presented independently in the home cage. To achieve this objective, we firstly compared the maternal behavior in the home cage and the preference for pups or a male in a Y-maze of primiparous and multiparous females approximately twelve hours after delivery...
November 12, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Sandra Dangelmayer, Jan Benda, Jan Grewe
Weakly electric fish use electrosensory, visual, olfactory and lateral line information to guide foraging and navigation behaviors. In many cases they preferentially rely on electrosensory cues. Do fish also memorize non-electrosensory cues? Here, we trained individuals of gymnotiform weakly electric fish Apteronotus albifrons in an object discrimination task. Objects were combinations of differently conductive materials covered with differently colored cotton hoods. By setting visual and electrosensory cues in conflict we analyzed the sensory hierarchy among the electrosensory and the visual sense in object discrimination...
November 5, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Benoit P Delhaye, Hannes P Saal, Sliman J Bensmaia
In recent years, a consensus has emerged that somatosensory feedback needs to be provided for upper limb neuroprostheses to be useful. An increasingly promising approach to sensory restoration is to electrically stimulate neurons along the somatosensory neuraxis to convey information about the state of the prosthetic limb and about contact with objects. To date, efforts towards artificial sensory feedback have consisted mainly of demonstrating that some sensory information could be conveyed using a small number of stimulation patterns, generally delivered through single electrodes...
November 1, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
V Hollmann, J Engelmann, L Gómez-Sena
The Electrosensory Lateral Line lobe (ELL) is the first central target where the electrosensory information encoded in the spatiotemporal pattern electroreceptor afferent discharges is processed. These afferents encode the minute amplitude changes of the basal electric field through both a change in latency and discharge rate. In the ELL the time and rate-coded input pattern of the sensory periphery goes through the granular cell layer before reaching the main efferent cells of the network: large fusiform (LF) and large ganglion (LG) cells...
November 1, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Jacquelyn M Petzold, Gary Marsat, G Troy Smith
Animal communication signals that simultaneously share the same sensory channel are likely to coevolve to maximize the transmission of each signal component. Weakly electric fish continuously produce a weakly electric field that functions in communication. Fish modulate the electric organ discharge (EOD) on short timescales to produce context-specific signals called chirps. EODs and chirps are simultaneously detected by electroreceptors and processed in the electrosensory system. We analyzed these signals, first to explore whether EOD waveform is encoded in the signal received by electroreceptors and then to examine how EODs and chirps interact to influence conspicuousness...
October 27, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
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