Weakly Electric Fish lab report

Weakly Electric Fish lab report
Introduction – 4 points –
Did you provide background about weakly electric fish? How and where do they make
the signals?
Why do they have electric fields? How do they use them to detect objects?
Why would we want to measure the electric field of the fish and the distortions created by
objects? The properties that define the field are intensity and direction….
Did you cite the source of your information?
Methods – 5 points
Describe the important details of suspension of the fish in the tank. The details of the
scaffolding etc are not necessary. But it is useful to say that you immobilized the fish in
a nylon net and suspended the animal in the center of the tank. The species was
Apteronotus albifrons or black ghost knife fish (this is the kind of point that is worth
checking – nobody lost points for getting the species wrong but it is the kind of attention
to detail that is noticed)
Measurements were taken in grid – what were the dimensions of your grid (in cm)?
Measurements were taken in both dimensions at each point in the grid.
The electrical signal was recorded using an electrode with a ground and live wire.
The signal was amplified 50X using a differential amplifier (Dagan). (brand names of
equipment – again nobody lost points for not mentioning it but details count)
The voltage was measured on an oscilloscope (Tenma).
The tank was grounded to reduce 60 Hz background noise.
How did you calculate the magnitude of the signal and the angle? What program did you
use to generate the plots?
Results – 5 points
You need to have at least 2 figures with captions. One figure should show the magnitude
of the field and the other should show the direction.
It must be clear which end of the plot is the head and which is the tail.. similarly what
does the y –coordinate represent? (distance from fish)
Each plot should be described in sufficient detail that the reader is shown the important
Do not include table of raw data – you use the plots to summarize the data.
Discussion – 5 points
What do your results mean? Can you relate what you found to what you wrote about in
the introduction? If you did not find what you expected then can you give any kind of
explanation for your results.
References – 1 point
You must have your references listed (alphabetically if you have more than one)