Special Topic Issue: Brain, Behavior and Evolution 2002, Vol. 59, No. 4 The integration of sensory information arriving from receptors of different modalities is one of the most fundamental roles of the central nervous system and is critical to the organization of appropriate behaviors. The papers presented in this special issue of Brain, Behavior and Evolution examine the roles and interactions of multiple sensory modalities in directing the trajectories of complex behaviors. Most of these studies employ various species of fish, which are useful behavioral models due to their combinations of familiar and specialized sensory systems. However, the basic issues that emerge from these studies, such as questions of range fractionation, sensory hierarchies, differential feature extraction by different modalities and the remarkable plasticity of multisensory interactions, have a much wider relevance to basic principles of nervous system function. C. Braun, S. Coombs and R. Fay lead this issue with a discussion of the roles played by the lateral line and auditory systems in the ability of fish to localize moving vibratory sources. J. New examines the relative roles played by vision and the lateral line system in directing different phases of the predatory behaviors of two diurnal predatory fish species. J. Montgomery, F. Macdonald, C. Baker and G. Carton examine the roles of hydrodynamic, chemosensory, tactile and visual cues in the prey capture strategies of several different fishes. M. Nelson, M. MacIver and S. Coombs follow by comparing the relative contributions of the lateral line and electrosenses to predation in the weakly electric black ghost knifefish, and R. Rojas and P. Moller continue the investigation of electric fishes with an investigation of the roles played by electroreception and vision in the shelter-seeking behavior of a mormyrid fish. Finally, G. Uetz and J. A. Roberts examine the role of visual and vibratory cues in the courtship behaviors of female wolf spiders. The articles presented here provide an important behavioral framework for the study of multimodal sensory integration in the brain, and thus address some of the most important questions in modern neuroscience.
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