Mechanically coupled ears for directional hearing in the parasitoid fly Ormia ochracea.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton 13902-6000, USA.
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Impact Factor: 1.5). 01/1996; 98(6):3059-70.
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Ronald Miles, May 06, 2014
  • Source
    • "In particular, interaural intensity differences (IID) or interaural temporal differences (ITD) between both ears can be used for extracting directional information (Michelsen 1992). These differences are rather small in a fly, but it has been shown that both tympanal membranes of the ear are mechanically coupled (Miles et al. 1995; Robert et al. 1998, 1999). This mechanism increases temporal differences between the ears and thereby provides a directional cue in the horizontal plane. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two taxa of parasitoid Diptera have independently evolved tympanal hearing organs to locate sound producing host insects. Here we review and compare functional adaptations in both groups of parasitoids, Ormiini and Emblemasomatini. Tympanal organs in both groups originate from a common precursor organ and are somewhat similar in morphology and physiology. In terms of functional adaptations, the hearing thresholds are largely adapted to the frequency spectra of the calling song of the hosts. The large host ranges of some parasitoids indicate that their neuronal filter for the temporal patterns of the calling songs are broader than those found in intraspecific communication. For host localization the night active Ormia ochracea and the day active E. auditrix are able to locate a sound source precisely in space. For phonotaxis flight and walking phases are used, whereby O. ochracea approaches hosts during flight while E. auditrix employs intermediate landings and re-orientation, apparently separating azimuthal and vertical angles. The consequences of the parasitoid pressure are discussed for signal evolution and intraspecific communication of the host species. This natural selection pressure might have led to different avoidance strategies in the hosts: silent males in crickets, shorter signals in tettigoniids and fluctuating population abundances in cicadas.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Comparative Physiology
  • Source
    • "By a comparison of binaural response levels directional hearing in insects is possible with very limited computational brain capacity. There are large differences in the particular layout and position of pressure difference receivers (Michelsen 1998; Miles et al. 1995), but nevertheless insects are equipped with directional information for further use by an apparatus that performs computations mechanically. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hearing in insects serves to gain information in the context of mate finding, predator avoidance or host localization. For these goals, the auditory pathways of insects represent the computational substrate for object recognition and localization. Before these higher level computations can be executed in more central parts of the nervous system, the signals need to be preprocessed in the auditory periphery. Here, we review peripheral preprocessing along four computational themes rather than discussing specific physiological mechanisms: (1) control of sensitivity by adaptation, (2) recoding of amplitude modulations of an acoustic signal into a labeled-line code (3) frequency processing and (4) conditioning for binaural processing. Along these lines, we review evidence for canonical computations carried out in the peripheral auditory pathway and show that despite the vast diversity of insect hearing, signal processing is governed by common computational motifs and principles.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Comparative Physiology
  • Source
    • "II. 파리 청각 기관 1. 파리(Ormia ochracea)의 청각 구조와 간단화된 모델 파리의 청각 기관의 간단화된 모델은 R. N. Miles에 의 해 제안되었다[12] [13] "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Institute of Control
Show more