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Brains Neurons Controlling Singing Crickets

Brains Neurons Controlling Singing Crickets

Supervisor: Dr Berthold Hedwig

Project summary:

Acoustic communication behaviour in insects is controlled by the brain. Classical “Command Neurons” which project from the brain to the ventral nerve cord activate the CPG for singing in the abdominal ganglia. The project provides the opportunity to unravel the function of these command neurons with intracellular recordings, electrical stimulation and labeling techniques. It aims at identifying the command neurons in different species, mapping their arborization pattern in the neuropils of the brain and demonstrating their projection patterns in the ventral nerve cord. Training will be provided in intracellular recordings, confocal imaging, neuroanatomical tracing methods, neuropharmacological brain stimulation and behavioral studies.


Hedwig B (2000) Control of cricket stridulation by a command neuron: Efficacy depends on behavioural state. J Neurophysiol, 83:712-722

Hedwig B, (1994) A descending cephalo-thoracic command system controls stridulation in the acridid grasshopper Omocestus viridulus L. J Neurophysiol, 72:2015-2025