The collection of chapters in this book present the concept of matched filters: response characteristics “matching” the characteristics of crucially important sensory inputs, which allows detection of vital sensory stimuli while sensory inputs not necessary for the survival of the animal tend to be filtered out, or sacrificed. The individual contributions discuss that the evolution of sensing systems resulted from the necessity to achieve the most efficient sensing of vital information at the lowest possible energetic cost. Matched filters are found in all senses including vision, hearing, olfaction, mechanoreception, magnetoreception and infrared sensing and different cases will be referred to in detail.
Elucidates the concept of matched sensory filters as an evolutionary process
Summarizes examples of matched filters in all senses
Outlines the key requirements to energy-efficient senses from a neurobiological perspective
Sensory systems have evolved to deal with complex and seemingly infinite sensory information. However, during evolution the morphology and neural circuitry of sensory organs have become “matched filters” for the characteristics of the most ecologically crucial stimuli that need to be detected, suppressing or even rejecting other less important stimuli. Not only do these matched filters allow essential sensory stimuli to be rapidly and reliably extracted for further processing, they do so with the most efficient use of the animal’s limited energy supply. The collection of chapters in this book explore these principles across the senses, in both vertebrates and invertebrates, with a rich smorgasbord of case studies that explain how matched sensory filters are an essential feature in the ecology of animal sensing.
Introduction: sensory ecology and matched filters.- Energetic costs of neural tissue and its role in the evolution of sensory organs.- Visual matched filtering in arthropods.- Visual matched filtering in vertebrates.- Auditory matched filtering in invertebrates.- The ecology of olfaction.- The ecology of mechanoreception.- Magnetoreception.- Ecology of infrared sensing.- Matched filtering in two senses of one animal: partitioning of environmental sensing in African weakly electric fish.- The ecology of (active) whisking.