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: 1.56). 01/1999; 104(6):3520-33. DOI: 10.1121/1.423938
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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    • ", 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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    • "Going beyond the realm of seasonal plasticity, when the expression of slo1 genes was examined in individual animals and compared to saccular thresholds of those individuals, it was discovered that variability of slo1 expression within reproductive or non-reproductive seasons accounts for individual differences in auditory thresholds (Rohmann et al., 2013). Differences in the frequency range of sensitivity of individuals has implications for mate choice in a system (Rohmann et al., 2013) where increases in the amplitude of call frequency by only a few hertz can determine a positive phonotactic response to playback of recorded or synthesized male courtship calls (McKibben and Bass, 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Seasonal changes in reproductive-related vocal behavior are widespread among fishes. This review highlights recent studies of the vocal plainfin midshipman fish, Porichthys notatus, a neuroethological model system used for the past two decades to explore neural and endocrine mechanisms of vocal-acoustic social behaviors shared with tetrapods. Integrative approaches combining behavior, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, neuroanatomy, and gene expression methodologies have taken advantage of simple, stereotyped and easily quantifiable behaviors controlled by discrete neural networks in this model system to enable discoveries such as the first demonstration of adaptive seasonal plasticity in the auditory periphery of a vertebrate as well as rapid steroid and neuropeptide effects on vocal physiology and behavior. This simple model system has now revealed cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying seasonal and steroid- driven auditory and vocal plasticity in the vertebrate brain.
    Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 08/2014; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.yfrne.2014.08.002 · 7.58 Impact Factor
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    • "The vocalisation behaviour of animals exhibits a continuum of variation, which ensures the recognition of conspecific calls and discrimination among individuals in fishes (McKibben and Bass, 1998), birds (Gentner et al., 2000; Seddon, 2005), and mammals (McComb et al., 2000; Sousa-Lima et al., 2002; Sèbe et al., 2010). This acoustic variation has also been well documented in anurans (Gerhardt, 1991; Bee and Gerhardt, 2002; Briggs, 2010; Rodríguez et al., 2010), but several features are still unclear. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of the variability of signals at different levels are important to resolve issues related to the evolution of a species’ recognition system. We analysed the variation within males, among individuals, and among three breeding seasons in the advertisement calls of Scinax constrictus, a Neotropical hylid frog endemic to the Cerrado of Brazil. We assessed the influence of different temperature ranges and different body condition ranges over a three-year period of breeding season on the acoustical features of the advertisement calls of 62 individuals. Air temperature had negative relationship with call duration and note number. Body condition had a negative relationship with the dominant frequency and positive effects on pulse number and note duration. The acoustic parameters of S. constrictuswere stable across breeding seasons. Temporal parameters were highly variable within individuals, whereas the dominant frequency was the most stereotyped property of advertisement calls. Individuals ofS. constrictushave sufficient among-male variability, especially for temporal parameters (call duration, number of notes, and note duration), to permit discrimination between conspecific calling males at a reproductive site by statistical analysis. The results highlight the informativeness of non-invasive bioacoustic features for population-level studies and biological conservation.
    Amphibia-Reptilia 07/2014; 35(2):11. · 1.14 Impact Factor
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