Behavioral assessment of acoustic parameters relevant to signal recognition and preference in a vocal fish. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104: 3520-3533

Section of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Impact Factor: 1.5). 01/1999; 104(6):3520-33. DOI: 10.1121/1.423938
Source: PubMed


Acoustic signal recognition depends on the receiver's processing of the physical attributes of a sound. This study takes advantage of the simple communication sounds produced by plainfin midshipman fish to examine effects of signal variation on call recognition and preference. Nesting male midshipman generate both long duration (> 1 min) sinusoidal-like "hums" and short duration "grunts." The hums of neighboring males often overlap, creating beat waveforms. Presentation of humlike, single tone stimuli, but not grunts or noise, elicited robust attraction (phonotaxis) by gravid females. In two-choice tests, females differentiated and chose between acoustic signals that differed in duration, frequency, amplitude, and fine temporal content. Frequency preferences were temperature dependent, in accord with the known temperature dependence of hum fundamental frequency. Concurrent hums were simulated with two-tone beat stimuli, either presented from a single speaker or produced more naturally by interference between adjacent sources. Whereas certain single-source beats reduced stimulus attractiveness, beats which resolved into unmodulated tones at their sources did not affect preference. These results demonstrate that phonotactic assessment of stimulus relevance can be applied in a teleost fish, and that multiple signal parameters can affect receiver response in a vertebrate with relatively simple communication signals.

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    • "Small sneaker males, called Type II males, do not court females or defend a nest but instead steal fertilizations by releasing sperm in, at the periphery, or just outside of the guarding male nests (Brantley and Bass 1994). Gravid females are attracted by, and can discriminate among, the acoustic signals produced by the guarder males, as can other guarder and sneaker males (McKibben and Bass 1998). Here, we examine how variance in sperm competition risk within and between tactics covaries with ejaculate traits of plainfin midshipman . "

    Behavioral Ecology 09/2015; DOI:10.1093/beheco/arv159 · 3.18 Impact Factor
    • "These features of M. aeglefinus calls are typical of sounds that have evolved to allow the sender to be located and identified over a long distance (Winn, 1972) and can be classified as long-range signals (Titus, 1998). The regularly repeated KNs may be functionally similar to the O. tau boatwhistle (Fine, 1977) and to the hum of midshipman Porichthys notatus Girard 1854 (McKibben & Bass, 1998), which are advertisement calls emitted by males informing conspecifics about the location of spawning opportunities. Moreover, the presence of long-range signals produced with a regular repetition rate over an extended period of time (Titus, 1998) may often yield the individual identity of the singer (McGregor, 1993). "
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    ABSTRACT: Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus males observed in captivity proved to be vocally active throughout the whole year, although the highest levels of vocal activity were reached in the spawning season between February and April. During this season, the most common type of sound consisted of sequences of regularly repeated, almost identical, double-pulsed knocks (KN). These sequences were mostly associated with a particular behaviour pattern, the patrolling display, which has previously been shown to play a key role in territoriality and spawning. Differences in the double-pulsed KNs produced by three individual males were demonstrated by two different statistical methods and it is suggested that these differences may allow individual males to be discriminated by other fish, perhaps conveying fitness-related information on the sender. Some aspects of the calls changed seasonally, perhaps reflecting observed variations in the mass of the drumming muscles. When using passive listening to locate M. aeglefinus spawning grounds, the physical characteristics of the sounds may indicate how close the individual males are to spawning. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
    Journal of Fish Biology 09/2015; 87(3). DOI:10.1111/jfb.12740 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    • ", gravid ) show a positive phonotactic response to advertisement calls . Once females release all of their eggs , they leave the nest and males remain to guard developing embryos / larvae ( Brantley and Bass , 1994 ) ; they also no longer respond to playbacks of advertisement calls ( McKibben and Bass , 1998 ) . Female phonotaxis behavior , a directed motor response stimulated by a single sensory modality , is an unambiguous proxy for high sexual arousal in this species . "

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