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Data from: Convergent mosaic brain evolution is associated with the evolution of novel electrosensory systems in teleost fishes

Citation

Schumacher, Erika; Carlson, Bruce (2022), Data from: Convergent mosaic brain evolution is associated with the evolution of novel electrosensory systems in teleost fishes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7d7wm37w5

Abstract

Brain region size generally scales allometrically with total brain size, but mosaic shifts in brain region size independent of brain size have been found in several lineages and may be related to the evolution of behavioral novelty. African weakly electric fishes (Mormyroidea) evolved a mosaically enlarged cerebellum and hindbrain, yet the relationship to their behaviorally novel electrosensory system remains unclear. We addressed this by studying South American weakly electric fishes (Gymnotiformes) and weakly electric catfishes (Synodontis spp.), which evolved varying aspects of electrosensory systems, independent of mormyroids. If the mormyroid mosaic increases are related to evolving an electrosensory system, we should find similar mosaic shifts in gymnotiforms and Synodontis. Using micro-computed tomography scans, we quantified brain region scaling for multiple electrogenic, electroreceptive, and non-electrosensing species. We found mosaic increases in cerebellum in all three electrogenic lineages relative to non-electric lineages and mosaic increases in torus semicircularis and hindbrain associated with the evolution of electrogenesis and electroreceptor type. These results show that evolving novel electrosensory systems is repeatedly and independently associated with changes in the sizes of individual brain regions independent of brain size, which suggests that selection can impact structural brain composition to favor specific regions involved in novel behaviors.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1755071