Neurobiology of Insect Acoustic Communication



Time: 12:30-13:30  on Tues., Jun. 26, 2018

Venue: B323, Medical Science Building

Speaker:Dr. Berthold Hedwig, Professor, Department of Zoology, Cambridge, UK


Host:Wei Zhang,IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University

Title:Neurobiology of Insect Acoustic Communication

Abstract:Insects like cicada, grasshoppers and crickets use innate acoustic communication for mate attraction, courtship and rivalry behaviour. Their communication requires the generation of species-specific sound patterns as well as corresponding species-specific auditory recognition processes. In crickets, males generate a calling song with rhythmical wing movements and the females approach the singing males, guided by their song pattern.  We focus on these insects to address some fundamental questions in auditory neurobiology. Using intracellular recording and staining techniques, their rather “simple” nervous system allows to analyse principles underlying sound pattern generation and auditory processing at the level of identified neurons and network properties. In particular the seminar will address the following questions: 1)How does the nervous system control singing in male crickets? 2) Which mechanisms prevents the auditory pathway from deafening in singing males? 3) How are the neuronal filters for pattern recognition organised in females? I will present behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroanatomical data to provide insight into the neuronal mechanisms related to command neurons, central pattern generation, a corollary discharge mechanism and delay-line coincidence-detection processing. The research was supported by the BBSRC, the Isaac Newton Trust and the Royal Society.


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