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The Neurochemical Basis of Cricket Phonotaxis

The Neurochemical Basis of Cricket Phonotaxis

Supervisor: Dr Berthold Hedwig

Project summary:

Female crickets are attracted by the continuous calling songs of males. We have a good understanding how the males singing behavior is controlled by neurotransmitters released in the brain, however, we only have a very limited understanding, which transmitters and neuroactive substances control female phonotactic behavior. To tackle this problem, female crickets phonotactic behavior will be measured with a trackball system, while different neurotransmitters are microinjected into the brain. A change in the fenales behavior will indicate the efficiency of the pharmacological tests. 

References:

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

Hedwig, B and JFA Poulet (2004) Complex auditory behaviour emerges from simple reactive steering. Nature 430: 781-785

Wenzel B, Hedwig B (1999) Neurochemical control of cricket stridulation revealed by pharmacological microinjections into the brain. J Exp Biol, 202: 2203-2216