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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Biologie

Verhaltensphysiologie

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Krahe

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Krahe


What are the mechanisms used by the brain to process sensory information? And what are the selection pressures that have been shaping these mechanisms in the course of evolution? We address these questions using a large variety of methodological approaches, ranging from neurophysiological experiments in the laboratory and phylogenetic analyses to behavioural experiments in the natural habitat of the animals. Our study system is the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish. These nocturnal tropical fish generate weak electric fields in the surrounding water and sense perturbations of the field caused by objects in their environment. In addition, they use their electric discharges for communication with conspecifics. An important experimental advantage of this system is the relative simplicity with which electric fields in the water can be measured and reproduced.