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Data from: Sensing the structural characteristics of surfaces: Texture encoding by a bottom-dwelling fish

Citation

Hardy, Adam; Hale, Melina (2020), Data from: Sensing the structural characteristics of surfaces: Texture encoding by a bottom-dwelling fish, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h9w0vt4gb

Abstract

The texture of contacted surfaces influences our perception of the physical environment and modulates behavior. Texture perception and its neural encoding mechanisms have traditionally been studied in the primate hand, yet animals of all types live in richly textured environments and regularly interact with textured surfaces. Here we explore texture sensation in a different type of vertebrate limb by investigating touch and potential texture encoding mechanisms in the pectoral fins of fishes, the forelimb homologs. We investigated the pectoral fins of the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), a bottom-dwelling species that lives on substrate types of varying roughness and whose fins frequently contact the bottom. Analysis shows that the receptive field sizes of fin ray afferents are small and afferents exhibit response properties to tactile motion that are consistent with those of primates and other animals studied previously. In response to a periodic stimulus (coarse gratings), afferents phase lock to the stimulus temporal frequency and thus can provide information about surface texture. These data demonstrate that fish can have the capability to sense the tactile features of their near range physical environment with fins.

Funding

Office of Naval Research, Award: N00014-18-1-2673

National Science Foundation, Award: DGE-0903637

National Science Foundation, Award: DGE-1144082