Helmholtz Gemeinschaft


Mechanisms underlying phonotactic steering in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus revealed with a fast trackball system

Item Type:Article
Title:Mechanisms underlying phonotactic steering in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus revealed with a fast trackball system
Creators Name:Hedwig, B. and Poulet, J.F.A.
Abstract:Phonotactic steering behaviour of the cricket G. bimaculatus was analysed with a new highly sensitive trackball system providing a spatial and temporal resolution of 127 microm and 0.3 ms, respectively. Orientation to artificial calling songs started at 45 dB SPL, it increased up to 75 dB SPL and then saturated. When exposed to two identical patterns of different intensity, crickets significantly steered towards the louder sound pattern, whenever the intensity difference was greater than 1 dB. Bilateral latency differences in sound presentation did not always cause clear orientation towards the leading side. The overall walking direction depended on the number of sound pulses perceived from the left or right side with the animals turning towards the side providing the larger number of pulses. The recordings demonstrated rapid changes in walking direction performed even during a chirp. These rapid steering responses occurred with a latency of 55-60 ms, well before the central nervous system had time to evaluate the temporal structure of a whole chirp. When every other sound pulse was presented from opposite directions, the crickets followed the temporal pattern of sound presentation and rapidly steered towards the left and right side. Steering towards individual sound pulses does not agree with the proposal that crickets analyse the quality of sound patterns and then steer towards the better pattern. Rather, these experiments suggest that fast steering to single sound pulses determines the lateral deviation of the animals and that complex auditory orientation emerges from this simple mechanism of auditory steering.
Keywords:Cricket Phonotaxis, Track Ball System, Sound Localisation, Steering, Pattern Recognition, Animals, Gryllidae
Source:Journal of Experimental Biology
Publisher:Company of Biologists
Number:Pt 5
Page Range:915-927
Date:March 2005
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.01452
PubMed:View item in PubMed

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Open Access
MDC Library