Document Detail

Fractional rate of change of swim-bladder volume is reliably related to absolute depth during vertical displacements in teleost fish.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20190038     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Fish must orient in three dimensions as they navigate through space, but it is unknown whether they are assisted by a sense of depth. In principle, depth can be estimated directly from hydrostatic pressure, but although teleost fish are exquisitely sensitive to changes in pressure, they appear unable to measure absolute pressure. Teleosts sense changes in pressure via changes in the volume of their gas-filled swim-bladder, but because the amount of gas it contains is varied to regulate buoyancy, this cannot act as a long-term steady reference for inferring absolute pressure. In consequence, it is generally thought that teleosts are unable to sense depth using hydrostatic pressure. Here, we overturn this received wisdom by showing from a theoretical physical perspective that absolute depth could be estimated during fast, steady vertical displacements by combining a measurement of vertical speed with a measurement of the fractional rate of change of swim-bladder volume. This mechanism works even if the amount of gas in the swim-bladder varies, provided that this variation occurs over much longer time scales than changes in volume during displacements. There is therefore no a priori physical justification for assuming that teleost fish cannot sense absolute depth by using hydrostatic pressure cues.
Graham K Taylor; Robert Iain Holbrook; Theresa Burt de Perera
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-02-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1742-5662     ISO Abbreviation:  J R Soc Interface     Publication Date:  2010 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-27     Completed Date:  2010-12-02     Revised Date:  2014-10-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101217269     Medline TA:  J R Soc Interface     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1379-82     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Air Sacs / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Fishes / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Hydrostatic Pressure
Organ Size
Space Perception
Grant Support
BB/H01103X/1//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; //Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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