The “biological microphone” approach to study the sensory ecology of hearing and acoustic interference in insects

  • Datum: 17.10.2013
  • Uhrzeit: 13:00 - 14:00
  • Vortragende(r): Prof. Heiner Römer, Abteilung Zoologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz, Österreich
  • Raum: Seminarraum Haus 4, Seewiesen (Videokonferenz nach Radolfzell)
  • Gastgeber: Dr. Henrik Brumm, Forschungsgruppenleiter "Kommunikation und Sozialverhalten"
Sound signals of insects are used for mate attraction and in competitive interactions. Acoustic communicationoften takes place in multi-species choruses, where acoustic interference is a common problem.In addition, their ears are also used for predator detection, so that the detection and discrimination ofpredators and mates is not an easy task under such conditions. The acoustic scene relevant for a receiverat a given location may be studied using microphones, but technical receivers differ strongly intheir sensitivity, frequency bandwidth, directionality and temporal integration from insect ears. Thus bothplaced at the same spot in a chorus would tell us different results. We therefore developed a “biologicalmicrophone”, a portable neurophysiological set-up which allows single cell recording of the activity ofauditory interneurons in the actual environment. We thus listen through the ears of the insect, and canstudy the representation of a complex acoustic scene in the insect´s brain. In my talk I will demonstratehow this approach allows studying various important questions regarding the sensory ecology of insects.
Zur Redakteursansicht