Stichting De Traditie  -

 Cultural Heritage

Disclaimer & Copyright notice    Home    Board Objectives       Collection       MUSEUM-EXPO     SDT Publications     Glossary    Funding  

Utrecht - Science

Elektroreception: Utrecht PhD Dissertations

to Chronological Entry    > > > > > > > > 1935 HOW IT BEGAN . . . . . . HOW LONG IT TOOK . . . . . . . 1962

The surface of metal wires immersed in water gives rise to electrical corrosion currents, that can be perceived by some fish species. Dijkgraaf was familiar with the work of Parker and Van Heusen, who described this phenomenon already in 1917 for brown bullheads. In 1935, he observed himself a similar phenomenon with sharks during a research internship at the Sea Aquarium in Naples, but attributed these reactions to the poor state of the power supply there. Only in 1962, he realized, after a publication of R.W. Murray, that such currents can be detected by cartilaginous fish through the ampullae of Lorenzini. This finding threw a new light on the question of the biological significance of the ampullae of Lorenzini. After all, sharks have no electric organ to produce electric shock. So why electrosensory organs? More about Lorenzinian ampullae....
  • Left: Photograph of Sven Dijkgraaf from: Senses and Behaviour. Contributions by his scholars and collaborators in honour of Dr. Sven Dijkgraaf at the occasion of his retirement as a professsor of Comparative Physiology at the University of Utrecht, 1 December 1974. Neth. J. Zool. 25 (4), 1975.


    Peters_thesis    Peters_thesis2

    Title Thesis: De elektrische zin van de dwergmeerval, Ictalurus nebulosus (Le Sueur, 1819). Proefschrift, Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht.
    Peters-RC 1974. I De achtergronden van het onderzoek. ISBN 90-805355-4-0.
    Peters-RC 1974. II Publicaties.
    Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F 1972. Electric phenomena in the habitat of the catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus< LeS. J. Comp. Physiol. 81, 345-362.
    Peters-RC, Buwalda-RJA 1972. Frequency response of the electroreceptors ("small pit organs") of the catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus LeS. J.Comp. Physiol. 79, 29-38.
    Peters-RC, Loos-WJG, Gerritsen-A 1974. Distribution of electroreceptors, bio-electric field patterns, and skin resistance in the catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus LeS. J. Comp. Physiol. 92, 11-22
    Peters-RC, Wijland-F-van 1974. Electro-orientation in the passive electric catfish Ictalurus nebulosus. J. Comp. Physiol. 92, 273-280.
    Peters-RC 1999. III 25 jaar Onderzoek en onderwijs. Stichting De Traditie, Utrecht.
    ISBN 90-805355-1-6.


    Title Thesis: The electric sense of sharks, skate, and rays. Proefschrift, Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht.
    Dijkgraaf-S, Kalmijn-AJ 1962. Verhaltensversuche zur Funktion der Lorenzinische Ampullen. Naturwissenschaften. 49, 400.
    Dijkgraaf-S, Kalmijn-AJ 1963. Untersuchungen ueber die Funktion der Lorenzinischen Ampullen an Haifischen. Z. Vergl. Physiol. 47, 438-456.
    Dijkgraaf-S, Kalmijn-AJ 1966. Versuche zur biologischen Bedeutung der Lorenzinischen Ampullen bei den Elasmobranchiern. Z. Vergl. Physiol. 53, 187-194.
    Kalmijn-AJ 1966. Electro-perception in sharks and rays. Nature (London) 212, 1232-1233.
    Kalmijn-AJ 1971. The electric sense of sharks and rays. J. Exp. Biol. 55, 371-383.
    Kalmijn-AJ 1972. Bioelectric fields in sea water and the function of the ampullae of Lorenzini in elasmobranch fishes. SIO Reference Series 72-83, 1-21.
    Kalmijn-AJ 1974. The detection of electric fields from inanimate and animate sources other than electric organs. In: Fessard, A. E. (Ed.), Electroreceptors and other specialized receptors in lower vertebrates, vol.III/3. Springer-Verlag, Berlin etc., pp. 147-200.


    Title Thesis: Aspects of electroreceptor functioning in the catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus LeS. Proefschrift, Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht.
    Peters-RC, Bretschneider- F, Schreuder-JJA 1975. Influence of direct current stimulation on the ion induced sensitivity changes of the electroreceptors (small pit organs) of the brown bullhead Ictalurus nebulosus. Neth. J. Zool. 25, 389-397.
    Bretschneider- F, Kroesbergen-G, Beijnink-FB 1979. Functioning of catfish electroreceptors: relation between skin potential and receptor activity. J. Physiol. 75, 343-347.
    Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC, Peele-PH, Dorresteijn-A 1980. Functioning of catfish electroreceptors: statistical distribution of sensitivity and fluctuations of spontaneous activity. J. Comp. Physiol. A 137, 273-280.
    Schouten-VJA, Bretschneider-F 1980. Functioning of catfish Ictalurus nebulosus electroreceptors influence of calcium and sodium concentration on the skin potential. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 66, 291-296.


    Title Thesis: Local geo-electric fields at the bottom of the sea and their relevance for electrosensitive fish. Proefschrift, Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht.
    Pals-N,  Valentijn-P,  Verweij-D 1982. Orientation reactions of the dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, to local electric fields. Neth. J.  Zool. 32, 495-512.
    Pals-N, Peters-RC, Schoenhage-AAC 1982. Local geo-electric fields at the bottom of the sea and their relevance for electrosensitive fish. Neth. J. Zool. 32, 479-494.


    Title Thesis: A combined electrophysiological and morphological study on individual electroreceptor organs of Ictalurus nebulosus. Proefschrift, Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht.
    Eigenhuis-C, Doncker-J 1983. Electroreceptor functioning and morphology: functioning during histological fixation. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 75, 569-577.
    Eigenhuis-C, Elbers-PF, Peters-RC 1986. Zintuigen voor electriciteit. Vakbl. Biol. 66, 215-237.
    Eigenhuis-C, Molina-RMA, Peters-RC in prep. Electroreceptor functioning and morphology: a morphological study of the progressive penetration of fixatives.
    Eigenhuis-C, Linden-JC-van-der, Peters-RC in prep. Electroreceptor functioning  and morphology: no evidence for sensitivity regulation by tight junctions.
    Eigenhuis-C, Molina-RMA, Peters-RC in prep.  Ultrastructural changes in catfish electroreceptors after cooling and direct current stimulation.


    Title Thesis: A quantitative study of spike trains from electroreceptor organs under normal, and pathological conditions. Proefschrift, Utrecht University.
    Peters-RC, Teunis-PFM, Bretschneider-F, Weerden-R-van 1988. Ampullary electroreceptors in neurophysiological instruction. J. Biol. Educ. 22, 61-66.
    Teunis-PFM, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 1989. Denervation changes the transmission properties of electroreceptor sensory synapses. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 94, 647-652.
    Teunis-PFM, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 1990. Convergence ratio and transduction in catfish electroreceptive organs. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 97, 405-410.
    Teunis-PFM, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 1990. Synaptic latency in denervated electroreceptor organs. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A 97, 399-404.
    Teunis-PFM, Bretschneider-F, Groeningen-C-van, Peters-RC, Bedaux-JJM 1991. Quantitative aspects of transduction in an electroreceptor organ studied by means of experimental manipulation of the interspike interval. Neurosci. 42, 283-290.
    Teunis-PFM,  Vredevoogd-W, Weterings-C, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 1991. The emergence of electroreceptor organs in regenerating fish skin and concurrent changes in their transduction properties. Neurosci. 45, 205-212.
    Teunis-PFM,  Bretschneider-F, Bedaux-JJM, Peters-RC 1991. Synaptic noise in spike trains of normal and denervated electroreceptor organs. Neurosci. 41, 809-816.


    Title Thesis: Transduction in ampullary electroreceptor organs of the fresh water catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus. Proefschrift, Utrecht University. ISBN 90-393-0965-5.
    Heijmen-P, Denizot-J-P, Peters-RC 1994. Immunohistochemical distribution of glutamate in the ampullary electroreceptor organ of teleost fish. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences Serie III Sciences de la Vie 317, 743-747.
    Heijmen-PS,  Peters-RC 1994. Apically administered cytochalasin B and D decreases sensitivity of electroreceptor organs in the North-American catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus. J. Comp. Physiol. A 175, 279-287.
    Heijmen-PS,  Braks-MAH, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 1995. Microvilli in electroreceptor organs in Ictalurus nebulosus play a part in signal filtering. J. Comp. Physiol. A 176, 103-109.
    Heijmen-PS,  Peters-RC 1995. Sensory variability of ampullary electroreceptor organs in part explained by apical membrane properties. Prim. Sensory Neuron 1, 81-93.
    Heijmen-PS,  Kalmeijer-D, Peters-RC 1996. Vincristine disturbs spontaneous firing of the afferent nerve fibre in ampullary electroreceptor organs. Neurosci. 72, 585-591.
    Heijmen-PS, Boele-A,  Peters-RC 1996. The effect of hyperosmotic treatment on the functioning of ampullary electroreceptor organs. Neurosci. 72, 1107-1115.


    Title Thesis: A study on transduction and transmission in catfish ampullary electroreceptor organs. Proefschrift, Utrecht University. ISBN 90-3932777-7
    Struik-ML, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 2002. Spontaneous nerve activity and sensitivity in catfish ampullary electroreceptor organs after tetanus toxin application. Pflueg. Arch. Eur. J. Physiol. 443, 903-907.
    Struik-ML, Steenbergen-HG, Koster-AS, Bretschneider-F, Peters-RC 2001. Simultaneous measurements of calcium mobilization and afferent nerve activity in electroreceptor organs of anesthetized Kryptopterus bicirrhis. Comp. Physiol. Biochem. A. 130, 607-613.
    Struik-ML in prep. Membrane current in the electroreceptor cells of the glass catfish Kryptopterus bicirrhis.
    Struik-ML,  Bretschneider-F in prep. The dendritic tree of an ampullary electroreceptor organ; morphology and funcitonal modeling.
    Struik-ML 2011. Stereoscopy of Kryptopterus bicirrhis (Valenciennes 1840) electroreceptor organ dendritic trees. SDT Ref Ser. Int. 1, 12-18.


    Project Title: Bioelectric DC-fields of aquatic animals: origin and biological significance.
    Eeuwes-L, Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F, Loos-WJG 2001. Electroreception of catfish Ictalurus nebulosus  in uniform and non-uniform DC fields: detection threshold and body length. Belgian J. Zool. 131 (Supplement 2): 33-38.
    Eeuwes-LBM, Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F, Loos-WJG 2004. Catfish with distaste for preservatives. Belgian J. Zool. 134 (2/1), 105-108.
    Eeuwes-LBM, Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F 2008. Behavioural relevance of AC and DC in prey detection by the brown bullhead, Ameiurus nebulosus. Animal Biol. 58(3), 321-336.

    Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F, Struik-ML, Eeuwes-LBM 2007. Evidence for transmitter operated electrical synapses (TOES) in ampullary electroreceptor organs. Biosystems 89 (1-3), 92-100.
    Peters-RC, Eeuwes-LBM, Bretschneider-F 2007. On the electrodetection threshold of aquatic vertebrates with ampullary or mucous gland electroreceptor organs. Biol. Rev. 82 (3), 361-373
    Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F, Eeuwes-LBM 2008. Open lumina of microampullary electroreceptor organs in the transparent catfish, Kryptopterus bicirrhis  (Valenciennes 1840), contain 50 mM potassium: why? Animal Biol. 58(3),  313-319.
    Peters-RC, Bretschneider-F, Eeuwes-LBM 2008. Spontaneous firing in primary afferent neurons of ampullary electroreceptor organs as attribute of  bandwidth, threshold, and topology. Animal Biol. 58(3),  301-31.