Spatial orientation in the bushcricket Leptophyes punctatissima (Phaneropterinae; Orthoptera): III. Peripheral directionality and central nervous processing of spatial cues

J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2007 Nov;193(11):1115-23. doi: 10.1007/s00359-007-0262-6. Epub 2007 Aug 23.


We examined peripheral and central nervous cues underlying the ability of the bushcricket Leptophyes punctatissima to orient to elevated and depressed sound sources broadcasting the female acoustic reply. The peripheral spatial directionality of the ear was measured physiologically using monaural preparations of an auditory interneuron (T-fibre). In the azimuth, maximal interaural intensity differences of 18 dB occur between ipsi- and contralateral stimulation. With increasing elevation or depression of the sound sources, IIDs decrease systematically and reach zero with the source exactly above or below the preparation. Bilateral, simultaneous recordings of the activity of the pair of interneurons allowed determining the binaural discharge differences which occur in response to the extremely short (1 ms) female reply. These discharge differences are large (four action potentials/stimulus) and reliable in the azimuth with lateral stimulation, and decrease gradually with more frontal stimulation. With elevation and depression of sound sources these differences again decrease to one action potential/stimulus at 60 degrees or 75 degrees elevation, and lateral stimulus angles of about 60 degrees . We also calculated the reliability with which a receiver could correctly determine the location of the sound source. We discuss these quantitative measures in relation to the spatial phonotactic behaviour of male L. punctatissima.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animal Communication*
  • Animals
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Male
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Orthoptera / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Sound Localization / physiology*