Title

Insect vs. vertebrate brains: who is best at keeping the pace?

Poster Number

34

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Marcos Gridi-Papp

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Males of many species spend hours every night producing a repeated advertisement signal to attract mates. The ability to maintain a regular and constant rhythm of calls with similar traits allows a male to optimize its energy expenditure. In this study, we asked what type of animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, is best at producing constant call traits when signaling in isolation. We acoustically monitored individual male crickets (Acheta domesticus) or túngara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus) 24 h a day over several weeks using identical micro-enviroments for all animals of each species. Number of calls, call rate, call amplitude, call duration, and call frequency were compared among several individuals of each species. We found that the frogs had a more constant in call rate and call duration, whereas crickets had a more constant in call frequency, while call amplitude was equally variable in the two species. The difference in call frequency most likely derives from the fact that this trait is more susceptible to behavioral control in the frog than in the cricket. The differences in call rate and call duration, however, indicate that the pacemaker for signaling in the brain is more regular in frogs than in crickets. Further studies should expand on this comparison, to reveal how these two different neural systems are affected by age and physiological state. The results will provide insight into the performance and limitations of neural circuit designs.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2013 1:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2013 3:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 1:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

Insect vs. vertebrate brains: who is best at keeping the pace?

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Males of many species spend hours every night producing a repeated advertisement signal to attract mates. The ability to maintain a regular and constant rhythm of calls with similar traits allows a male to optimize its energy expenditure. In this study, we asked what type of animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, is best at producing constant call traits when signaling in isolation. We acoustically monitored individual male crickets (Acheta domesticus) or túngara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus) 24 h a day over several weeks using identical micro-enviroments for all animals of each species. Number of calls, call rate, call amplitude, call duration, and call frequency were compared among several individuals of each species. We found that the frogs had a more constant in call rate and call duration, whereas crickets had a more constant in call frequency, while call amplitude was equally variable in the two species. The difference in call frequency most likely derives from the fact that this trait is more susceptible to behavioral control in the frog than in the cricket. The differences in call rate and call duration, however, indicate that the pacemaker for signaling in the brain is more regular in frogs than in crickets. Further studies should expand on this comparison, to reveal how these two different neural systems are affected by age and physiological state. The results will provide insight into the performance and limitations of neural circuit designs.