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Enigmatic fish ears: solving a sensory biology riddle with bioengineering and Artificial Intelligence

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 FISHEARS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the FISHEARS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "FISHEARS" about.

physical    functional    ear    diffusible    cues    models    incorporate    framework    too    machine    structures    prediction    mri    ecological    patterns    co    algorithm    enhanced    resolution    cluster    biomechanics    interplay    physiological    learning    registered    one    capability    computed    dicect    infer    iodine    multiscale    environment    life    fe    data    differences    first    tomography    acoustic    secondly    function    hearing    complicated    firstly    perform    bioimaging    biology    sounds    auditory    tools    force    predict    accepted    computational    evolutionary    understand    elasmobranch    significance    history    biogeographical    morphology    predominant    3d    fishes    replicate    diversity    species    ears    utilising    events    contrast    fish    relationships    conceptualisation    riddles    digitally    shape    sensory    human    statistical    question    unknown    sizes    finite    inner    created    model    underwater    environmental    collected    structure    driving   

Project "FISHEARS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: EXETER
postcode: EX4 4QJ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 272˙084 €
 EC max contribution 272˙084 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-GF
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-11-01   to  2023-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UK (EXETER) coordinator 272˙084.00


 Project objective

One of the predominant riddles of sensory biology is the diversity in fish auditory systems. It is widely accepted that fishes are well adapted to utilising underwater sounds as sensory cues in key life-history events. However, the functional significance and the driving force leading to the differences in fish inner ear sizes and structures are unknown. A complex interplay of physical, evolutionary, functional and ecological factors may shape the different elements: a multiscale environment too complicated for human conceptualisation. I propose to address this question by applying novel bioimaging and computational tools to investigate elasmobranch fish ears. Firstly, diffusible iodine-based contrast enhanced computed tomography (diceCT) will be used, co-registered with MRI data, to build 3D high resolution models of the inner ears. Secondly, a Finite Element (FE) model will be created to digitally replicate a fish ear and understand the biomechanics of its structure. Finally, a statistical framework will be developed to incorporate the factors that may shape the hearing system of elasmobranch fishes, including the collected data, together with the available physiological, ecological and biogeographical information on each species, as well as species’ acoustic environmental parameters. A Machine Learning algorithm will be applied to infer patterns and relationships between the factors, to perform both cluster and prediction analyses. Thus, a reliable model will be developed, which can predict the hearing capability of any elasmobranch species based on the ear morphology and the first evidence of the function of fish ear diversity.

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The information about "FISHEARS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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