CILIA - Customized Intelligent Life-inspired Arrays

Project funded by the Future and Emergent Technologies arm of the IST Programme in the 6th Framework Programme

6th Framework Programme
The Lateral Line




Film sequences:

Drafting in Ide (Leuciscus idus) (avi)
Interactions with obstacles in the flow allow trout to save energy in the turbulent and fast flowing waters of their habitat. Here, Ide, a cyprinid usually living in stagnant or slowly flowing water, demonstrates its ability to exploit the vortex wake by fitting its kinematics to the vortex shedding frequency similar to trout.

Measuring the swimming performance of fish (avi)
The determination of the critical swimming speed is a standardised method to collect comparable data on the swimming performance of different fish species. Here measurement on Bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) and Ide (Leuciscus idus) are shown. Both species are mainly found in slowly flowing water, but Ide shows a much better swimming performance than Bitterling.

The lateral line is a mechanosensory system that is used by fishes and aquatic amphibians to detect and analyze water movements and pressure gradients generated, for instance, by conspecifics, predators or prey. The lateral line consists of individual receptor organs, the neuromasts, that are distributed across the body of the fish. They occur as superficial neuromasts on the fish surface or as canal neuromasts located within pored lateral line canals. We use behavioral, electrophysiological, histological and neuroanatomical techniques to study sensory capabilities, neuronal coding and processing and peripheral and central organization of the lateral line system. We want to know how the lateral line identifies and localizes wave sources, how it extracts relevant information out of noisy environments, and what kinds of peripheral and central adaptations and specializations have evolved in different fish species. In addition, we want to use the biological principles of signal reception, filtering and processing implemented in the the lateral line system for the construction of artificial hydrodynamic sensors.