Insect Hearing and Acoustic Communication

Volume 1 of the series Animal Signals and Communication pp 143-166


Neural Processing in the Bush-Cricket Auditory Pathway

  • Andreas StumpnerAffiliated withDepartment of Cellular Neurobiology, Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institute for Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August-University Göttingen Email author 
  • , Manuela NowotnyAffiliated withDepartment of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, AK Neurobiology and Biosensors

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Bush-crickets have their ears in the front tibia with the sensory organ located between two eardrums. An acoustic trachea that amplifies higher frequencies guides sound towards the sensory organ. A linearly arranged set of primary auditory neurons functions like a filter bank, for frequency discrimination and additionally supports intensity discrimination. At the level of attachment cells, a travelling wave might contribute to the frequency tuning of the auditory afferents. The first level of central auditory processing is characterised by convergence of sensory neurons onto thoracic local and intersegmental interneurons and is shaped by presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition. Interneurons tuned to the carrier frequency are prime candidates for processing intraspecific communication signals. Other neurons are well suited for bat detection and in one neuron auditory stream segregation of conspecific and bat calls was demonstrated. Auditory brain neurons reveal processing properties not encountered in thoracic ganglia.