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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.

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

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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