Sensory systems need to encode important information and enable an individual to respond to changes in the external environment. This chapter focuses on specific examples, mainly from vision, hearing, and olfaction to demonstrate the mechanisms that exist at various stages of sensory processing across taxa and modalities to encode important information. It covers principles such as filtering, contrast enhancement, feature detectors, receptive fields, adaptation, and parallel processing, and how these processes are made possible by the flexibility connections between nerve cells and circuits.
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