Biophysics of the Lateral Line and Applications

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Biophysical properties of lateral line flow sensors are reviewed with a specific focus on a quantitative description of their detection capabilities. Two submodalities, canal neuromasts (CN) and superficial neuromasts (SN), are distinguished, which differ in their morphological characteristics and interaction with the external fluid flow to be detected. On the basis of fluid-neuromast-interaction described in terms of Stokes flow, analytical expressions are obtained for their sensitivity and frequency selectivity. Based on these expressions, their operational features are determined in fluid velocity-frequency space, emphasizing the two types' complementarity and their capacity in mediating different behaviors. Using similar modeling, a particular upscaled artificial neuromast's (AN) detection capabilities are reviewed and shown to mimic those of biological neuromasts. Combinations of artificial lateral line systems with neural networks are discussed within the context of hydrodynamic imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Senses
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Reference (Second Edition)
EditorsBernd Fritzsch
PublisherElsevier Science
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Artificial lateral line Cupula Fiber Bragg gratings Flow sensing Frequency response Hydrodynamic imaging Neurobiology Neuromast Neural networks Morphology Reynolds numbers Stereocilia

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