BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM | Physiology of the Mauthner Cell: Function

D. S. Faber, A. E. Pereda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


The Mauthner cells are a pair of resticulospinal neurons involved in fish escape behaviors that are essential for survival. These escape responses can be triggered by a variety of sensory inputs, most prominently auditory and visual. Due to the connectivity of the Mauthner cell axon at the cranial and spinal cord levels, the activation of this cell produces a tail flip, which constitutes the initial phase of the escape response. A growing body of evidence suggests that the Mauthner cells also participate in voluntary behaviors, raising the possibility that these cells could be involved in a wide range of functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Fish Physiology
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Genome to Environment: Volume 1-3
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780123745453
ISBN (Print)9780080923239
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Action potential
  • Auditory
  • Axon
  • C-start
  • Ear
  • Escape response
  • Excitation
  • Field effect
  • Inhibition
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Mauthner
  • Motor control
  • Reticulospinal
  • Sacculus
  • Spinal network
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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