Mechanically coupled ears for directional hearing in the parasitoid fly Ormia ochracea.
ABSTRACT An analysis is presented of the mechanical response to a sound field of the ears of the parasitoid fly Ormia ochracea. This animal shows a remarkable ability to detect the direction of an incident sound stimulus even though its acoustic sensory organs are in very close proximity to each other. This close proximity causes the arrival times of the sound pressures at the two ears to be less than 1 to 2 microseconds depending on the direction of propagation of the sound wave. The small differences in these two pressures must be processed by the animal in order to determine the incident direction of the sound. In this fly, the ears are so close together that they are actually joined by a cuticular structure which couples their motion mechanically and subsequently magnifies interaural differences. The use of a cuticular structure as a means to couple the ears to achieve directional sensitivity is novel and has not been reported in previous studies of directional hearing. An analytical model of the mechanical response of the ear to a sound stimulus is proposed which supports the claim that mechanical interaural coupling is the key to this animal's ability to localize sound sources. Predicted results for sound fields having a range of incident directions are presented and are found to agree very well with measurements.
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ABSTRACT: The computation of time in the auditory system of insects is of relevance at rather different time scales, covering a large range from microseconds to several minutes. At the one end of this range, only a few microseconds of interaural time differences are available for directional hearing, due to the small distance between the ears, usually considered too small to be processed reliably by simple nervous systems. Synapses of interneurons in the afferent auditory pathway are, however, very sensitive to a time difference of only 1-2 ms provided by the latency shift of afferent activity with changing sound direction. At a much larger time scale of several tens of milliseconds to seconds, time processing is important in the context species recognition, but also for those insects where males produce acoustic signals within choruses, and the temporal relationship between song elements strongly deviates from a random distribution. In these situations, some species exhibit a more or less strict phase relationship of song elements, based on phase response properties of their song oscillator. Here we review evidence on how this may influence mate choice decisions. In the same dimension of some tens of milliseconds we find species of katydids with a duetting communication scheme, where one sex only performs phonotaxis to the other sex if the acoustic response falls within a very short time window after its own call. Such time windows show some features unique to insects, and although its neuronal implementation is unknown so far, the similarity with time processing for target range detection in bat echolocation will be discussed. Finally, the time scale being processed must be extended into the range of many minutes, since some acoustic insects produce singing bouts lasting quite long, and female preferences may be based on total signaling time.Frontiers in Physiology 01/2014; 5:138.
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ABSTRACT: We present in this paper preliminary work on applying an insect-inspired acoustic localization sensor to autonomous navigation of a small-scale robot. The insect-inspired sensors provide phase amplification to allow accurate localization with smaller separation. As the sensors themselves are still in development, two small commercial microphones with greater separation were used to simulate the insect-inspired device. This paper presents the circuits used to interface the acoustic localization system with the microrobot, the algorithms used for the robot navigation, and the results of our first navigation experiments. The robot was able to determine the direction of the sound source and turn towards it for any angle within 0-90 degrees. The maximum deviation between the final robot position and the actual sound source location was 15 degrees. The accuracy of localization was also found to be dependent on the amplitude of the sound source.
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ABSTRACT: The technique for estimation of sound source direction is one of the important methods necessary for various engineering fields such as monitoring system, military services and so on. As a new approach for estimation of sound source direction, this paper propose the bio-mimetic localization sensor based on mechanically coupling structure motivated by hearing structure of fly, Ormia Ochracea. This creature is known for its outstanding recognition ability to the sound which has large wavelength compared to its own size. ITTF (Inter-Tympanal Transfer Function) which is the transfer function between displacements of the tympanal membranes on each side has the all inter-tympanal information dependent on sound direction. The peak and notch features of desired ITTF can be generated by using the appropriate mechanical properties. A example of estimation of sound source direction using generated ITTF with monotonically changing notch and peak patterns is shown.Journal of Institute of Control, Robotics and Systems. 02/2012; 18(2).