3 years ago

Listening in the bog: II. Neural correlates for acoustic interactions and spacing between Sphagniana sphagnorum males

Heiner Römer, Konstantinos Kostarakos


Males of the katydid Sphagniana sphagnorum maintain inter-male distances from one another using agonistic song interactions with a frequency-modulated song that consists of alternating audio and ultrasonic parts. We studied the neuronal representation of this song in auditory receptors and interneurons of receivers, using playbacks of songs that mimicked the absolute and relative sound pressure levels of the two song modes varying with distance. The tuning and sensitivity of both receptors and interneurons strongly determine their responses to the two song modes at different distances. Low-frequency interneurons respond preferentially to the audio mode of the song at larger distances. High-frequency (HF) interneurons respond preferentially to the HF component of the song at close range. ‘Switch interneurons’ are sensitive to both spectral song components, but exhibit a typical activity switch towards the high-frequency mode at distances nearer than 3–6 m. The activity of the latter two groups of interneurons correlates with the distance in the field at which males begin to interact acoustically with their neighbours. Important information about the rate of changes in the song mode is represented by the afferent activity despite the influence of the masking song produced by a sympatric katydid species.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00359-018-1251-7

DOI: 10.1007/s00359-018-1251-7

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