Fish Perform Spatial Pattern Recognition and Abstraction

I have been fascinated by this project – Part 2 of the ENKI project will be based around this particular experiment…

Christian Graff, Gwenaël Kaminski, Michael Gresty, and Théophile Ohlmann

“We presented the fishes with different spatial structures, each consisting of a similar tube of insulating material, with eight electrodes set into the inside surface of the tube and wired to a switchboard outside the tank. Depending on the way electrodes were externally interconnected, these assemblies created different “shapes” in space. The shapes were 3D patterns of distortion in the electrical flux issuing from the fish’s electric organ. They formed virtual objects or places that could not be distinguished by visual, mechanical, or chemical means but only existed through electricity, similar to the way in which virtual objects or places on a TV screen only exist through light. In order to perform our tasks, the fish had to actively explore the maze by “scanning” with its electrical field and sensing distortion patterns caused by sinks and sources of flux.”

http://www.sciencedirect.com Current Biology
Volume 14, Issue 9, 4 May 2004, Pages 818-823

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