Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 195, Issue 10, pp 971–987

Walking in Fourier’s space: algorithms for the computation of periodicities in song patterns by the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00359-009-0473-0

Cite this article as:
Hennig, R.M. J Comp Physiol A (2009) 195: 971. doi:10.1007/s00359-009-0473-0


Is discrimination of the envelope of an acoustic signal based on spectral or temporal computations? To investigate this question for the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus, pattern envelopes were constructed by the addition of several sine waves and modified by systematic phase changes. The phonotactic response of female crickets towards such sinusoidal but also rectangular pulse patterns was quantified on a locomotion compensator. Envelope patterns that exhibited a modulation frequency of 25 Hz as the dominant frequency were attractive and although changes of phase modified the temporal pattern, the values of attractiveness remained unaffected. Removal of the 25-Hz component reduced the phonotactic scores. Patterns in which other frequency components exhibited a larger amplitude than the 25-Hz component were less attractive. However, the combination of an unattractive pulse period with the attractive modulation frequency of 25 Hz in a pattern revealed that such stimuli were unattractive despite the presence of the 25-Hz component. A comparison of the attractiveness of all patterns revealed that female crickets evaluated the duration of pulse period over a wide range of duty cycles. The combined evidence showed that pattern envelopes were processed in the time- and not in the spectral domain.


Acoustic communication Auditory processing Fourier analysis Pattern recognition Signal envelope 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioural Physiology Group, Department of BiologyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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