Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies - (M.S.)

Department

College of Science and Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Simon J. Garnier

Second Advisor

Eric Scott Fortune

Third Advisor

Gareth J. Russell

Abstract

Animal locomotion performance responds to different ecological factors that shape relevant aspects of behavior. Conspecific signals is one of these factors and operates in a wide range of contexts. In schooling fish, coordinated movement is based on visual or mechanical cues and signals. In contrast, most gymnotiforms and mormyriforms are nocturnal or live in dark waters and use electric signals for social communication. However, the effect of conspecific electric signals on locomotion and group movement is largely unknown.

Apteronotus albifrons is a well-known model in neuroethological studies of signal processing and locomotion control that relies mostly on visual inputs but can switch to electric sense in low illumination levels to navigate and interact with the environment. Conspecific electric signals might be sufficient to produce changes in locomotor behavior that reflect basic rules of group movement interactions (attraction, repulsion or coordination). To test this hypothesis, recordings of locomotor behavior under two simple were compared using two experimental conditions: single and pairs of weakly electric fish.

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Biology Commons

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