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Proceedings Paper

Extracellular signal fluctuations in shark electrosensors
Author(s): Brandon R. Brown D.V.M.; Mary E. Hughes; John C. Hutchison
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Paper Abstract

We examine the roll of an extracellular gel in the functioning of the electrosensors of elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays). Here we focus on physical characteristics of the gel and their mechanistic relevance to the observed functioning of the electrosensors. The electrosensitive organs show sharp transient responses to both tiny electrical fluctuations and temperature fluctuations. We present a thermoelectric characterization of the gel. The data suggest a gel-mediated mechanism of transducing thermal fluctuations to electrical fluctuations in the electrosensor, independent of the sensing cells. We also present frequency-dependent electrical properties of the gel collected using electrical impedance spectroscopy. From these measurements we try to extract characteristic relaxation times. We analyze these results within the context of the electrosensors’ bandwidth, as demonstrated in previous behavioral experiments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5110, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems, (30 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.498789
Show Author Affiliations
Brandon R. Brown D.V.M., Univ. of San Francisco (United States)
Mary E. Hughes, Univ. of San Francisco (United States)
John C. Hutchison, Stepan Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5110:
Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems
Sergey M. Bezrukov; Hans Frauenfelder; Frank Moss, Editor(s)

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