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Auditory orientation in crickets: pattern recognition controls reactive steering

Item Type:Article
Title:Auditory orientation in crickets: pattern recognition controls reactive steering
Creators Name:Poulet, J.F.A. and Hedwig, B.
Abstract:Many groups of insects are specialists in exploiting sensory cues to locate food resources or conspecifics. To achieve orientation, bees and ants analyze the polarization pattern of the sky, male moths orient along the females' odor plume, and cicadas, grasshoppers, and crickets use acoustic signals to locate singing conspecifics. In comparison with olfactory and visual orientation, where learning is involved, auditory processing underlying orientation in insects appears to be more hardwired and genetically determined. In each of these examples, however, orientation requires a recognition process identifying the crucial sensory pattern to interact with a localization process directing the animal's locomotor activity. Here, we characterize this interaction. Using a sensitive trackball system, we show that, during cricket auditory behavior, the recognition process that is tuned toward the species-specific song pattern controls the amplitude of auditory evoked steering responses. Females perform small reactive steering movements toward any sound patterns. Hearing the male's calling song increases the gain of auditory steering within 2-5 s, and the animals even steer toward nonattractive sound patterns inserted into the species-specific pattern. This gain control mechanism in the auditory-to-motor pathway allows crickets to pursue species-specific sound patterns temporarily corrupted by environmental factors and may reflect the organization of recognition and localization networks in insects.
Keywords:Localization, Phonotaxis, Animals, Gryllidae
Source:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Page Range:15665-15669
Date:25 October 2005
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0505282102
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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