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Journal of Experimental Biology partnership with Dryad

Representation of behaviorally relevant sound frequencies by auditory receptors in the cricket teleogryllus oceanicus
G S Pollack, Z Faulkes


Teleogryllus oceanicus is particularly sensitive to two ranges of sound frequency, one corresponding to intraspecific acoustical signals (4-5 kHz) and the other to the echolocation cries of bats (25-50 kHz). We recorded summed responses of the auditory nerve to stimuli in these two ranges. Nerve responses consist of trains of compound action potentials (CAPs), each produced by the summed activity of a number of receptor neurons. The amplitude of the CAP is up to four times larger for stimuli at 4.5 kHz than for stimuli at 30 kHz, suggesting either that the extracellular spikes produced by receptors that respond to 4.5 kHz are larger than those that respond to 30 kHz, or that receptors fire more synchronously in response to stimulation at 4.5 kHz, or that more receptors respond to stimulation at 4.5 kHz. Neither unit spike amplitude nor conduction velocity (which is expected to vary with spike amplitude) differs for the two frequencies, and the responses to 4.5 kHz are not produced by more tightly synchronized receptor populations, as judged by CAP breadth. We conclude that more receptors respond to 4. 5 kHz than to 30 kHz.