Vertebrates, but also by insects like bushcrickets (katydids), using acoustic stimuli as common feature to attract each other. These acoustic signals have to be perceived in very complex habitats and decoded by their spectral and temporal components. This is achieved in bushcrickets by the hearing organs located in the tibiae of their forelegs. Sound enters through a spiracle at the thorax that is connected to an auditory trachea as well as through tympanal membranes near the hearing organ. Tonotopically arranged sensory cells form a longitudinal row above the auditory trachea, called the crista acustica, allowing the animals to process sound signals to neuronal activity.
In my PhD project I analyze common and species specific features of the bushcricket crista acustica, including their morphology and the resulting mechano-electrical transduction process. I focus on time-domain measurements of the mechanical (laser Doppler velocimetry) organ motion and the following opening of mechano-sensitive ion channels in the sensory cells (intracellular recordings) in response to different sound stimuli.
Motion of the crista acustica in the forelegs of Ancylecha fenestrata.
Sound enters the hearing organ, forming travelling waves from distal to proximal (10 kHz, 80 dB SPL).
Hummel J, Schöneich S, Kössl M, Scherberich J, Hedwig B, Prinz S, Nowotny M. Gating of Acoustic Transducer Channels Is Shaped by Biomechanical Filter Processes. J Neurosci. 36(8):2377-2382.
Scherberich J, Kössl M, Nowotny M (2016): Time-domain measurements of pure-tone evoked mechanical and neuronal response in an insect ear. “39th Association of Research in Otolaryngology MidWinter Meeting” (San Diego, USA, 19.-24. February)
Nowotny M, Scherberich J, Hummel J (2016): Di¬fferential auditory adaptation in katydids bushcrickets) ears: low-frequency resonance vs. acoustic fovea. “International Society for Neuroethology“ (Montevideo, Uruguay, 30. March – 03. April 2016).
Scherberich J, Hummel J, Nowotny M (2015) Evidences of an acoustic fovea in the hearing of the bushcricket Ancylecha fenestrata. “German Zoological Society. 108th Annual Meeting, 125th Anniversary” (Gratz, Austria, 09.-12. September 2015).
Scherberich J, Hummel J, Nowotny M (2015) Gender differences in the hearing organ of the bushcricket Ancylecha fenestrata. “Eleventh Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society” (Göttingen, Germany, 18.-21. March 2015).