Behavioural asymmetry, typically referred to as laterality, is widespread among bilaterians and is often associated with asymmetry in brain structure. However, the influence of sensory receptor asymmetry on laterality has undergone limited investigation. Here we used threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to investigate the influence of lateral line asymmetry on laterality during lab simulations of three mechanosensation-dependent behaviours: predator evasion, prey localization and rheotaxis. We recorded the response of stickleback to impacts at the water surface and water flow in photic conditions and low-frequency oscillations in the dark, across four repeat trials. We then compared individuals' laterality with asymmetry in the number of neuromasts on either side of their body. Stickleback hovered with their right side against the arena wall 57% of the time (P<0.001) in illuminated surface impact trials and 56% of the time (P=0.085) in dark low-frequency stimulation trials. Light regime modulated the effect of neuromast count on laterality, as fish with more neuromasts were more likely to hover with the wall on their right during illumination (P=0.007) but were less likely to do so in darkness (P=0.025). Population-level laterality diminished in later trials across multiple behaviours and individuals did not show a consistent side bias in any behaviours. Our results demonstrate a complex relationship between sensory structure asymmetry and laterality, suggesting that laterality is modulated by multiple sensory modalities and is temporally dynamic.

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