University of Cambridge > > Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series > Neurophysiology in the field: What can it tell us about the ecology of acoustic communication?

Neurophysiology in the field: What can it tell us about the ecology of acoustic communication?

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Behavioral ecologists studying acoustic communication are primarily concerned with the adaptive value and/or the evolution of signals and signaling behavior. They often interpret the variation in acoustic signals between senders as indicative of the strength of sexual selection, the conditional dependency, or their involvement in speciation. However, signaling often takes place in complex environments, in which the signal perceived by the receiver may differ greatly from the broadcast one due to the biotic and abiotic properties of the sound transmission channel. Whether or not the perceived signal finally elicits a behavior in receivers will depend on the design of the sensory system and the brain, aspects which are often ignored in communication studies. In my talk, I specifically focus on these two aspects of communication. I will describe the advantages of having access to the relatively simple nervous systems of insects, which allows to study sensory processing of acoustic signals directly in the field.

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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