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The mode of operation of the electric receptors in Gymnarchus


, : The mode of operation of the electric receptors in Gymnarchus. Jour Exptl Biol 37(4): 801-811

Two possible modes of action of the electric receptors of Gymnarchus niloticus are described. In one, received pulses are "smoothed" and a sensory discharge occurs dependent only on the smoothed level ("pulse-frequency-modulation"). In the other mechanism, sensory nerve impulses are produced at the same frequency as the received pulses, but with a delay which depends on their amplitude ("pulse-phase-modulation"). Experimental results support the pulse-frequency-modulation hypothesis, and indicate a smoothing time-constant of 25 ms. The very high sensitivity of electric receptors is discussed and compared with that of other sense organs.

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