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Time-Characteristics of Communicative Sounds and Their Analysis in the Auditory System of Insects

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This paper is concerned with the communicative code of insects, specifically crickets and cicades. Analysis of the calling songs of various species shows that they differ from each other in terms of amplitude modulation patterns (AMP) and there is direct evidence that the auditory system of insects is specialized in the analysis of AMP's. Some of the time characteristics of the calling songs, pulse rate, and chirp duration are highly stable and species specific whereas the unstable parameters, such as chirp rate, intensity, pulse form, and duration overlap broadly. The decoding of amplitude modulation patterns can be followed in the various stages of the auditory system of crickets from a peripheral stage with one group of LF receptors tuned to 4 to 6 kHz range and one HF group tuned to 10 to 16 kHz, the former dominating at low sensation levels. The neural impulse response rate is proportional to log-intensity. In the next stage 200 receptors converge in different combinations on a relatively small population of second order neurons with two specialized functions, the detection of pulse rate and chirp duration. The highest stage of the auditory system has not been studied directly. It probably classifies stimuli in terms of various temporal patterns and loudness guided by the center of sexual motivation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1974

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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