Document Detail

Nonlinear auditory mechanism enhances female sounds for male mosquitoes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17068125     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sound plays an important role in the life history of mosquitoes. Male mosquitoes detect females by the sound generated by their wingbeat. Because female wings are weak acoustic radiators, males have been driven by sexual selection to evolve sensitive acoustic sensors. Mosquito antennae are very sensitive acoustic receivers, featuring up to 16,000 sensory cells, a number comparable with that contained in the human cochlea. The antennal sound receiver exhibits frequency selectivity, input amplification, and self-generated oscillations, features that parallel the functional sophistication of the cochlear amplifier. Although arguably the male antenna is well suited to receiving weak female sounds, the role of active mechanisms in mosquito hearing is far from understood. Previous mechanical studies on mosquito hearing largely focused on the steady-state antennal response to harmonic sounds, mostly evaluating the data through conventional Fourier transforms. Here, we report on the time-resolved mechanical behavior of the male antenna in response to female sounds. Crucially, stimuli were designed to reflect the temporal acoustic profile of a female flying by. With these stimuli, several previously unreported nonlinear features were unveiled, involving amplification, compression, and hysteresis. The time-resolved analysis reveals that, through the active participation of the sensory neurons, the antenna mechanically responds to enlarge its own range of detection. This behavior augments the capacity of the antennal receiver to detect female sounds, enhancing the male's chance to successfully pursue a passing female.
Joseph C Jackson; Daniel Robert
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-10-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  103     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-08     Completed Date:  2006-12-20     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  16734-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Culicidae / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Hearing / physiology*
Models, Biological
Nonlinear Dynamics
Sense Organs / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Sexual Behavior, Animal
Comment In:
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Nov 7;103(45):16619-20   [PMID:  17075040 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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