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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

PI: Mark A. Bee

The Role of Multi-Modal Signals in Mate Choice

It is known that female frogs use acoustic signals to select mates. Recent evidence has indicated that visual cues also play a role in mate choice. These researchers are concerned with the function of these signals, as well as the neural mechanisms by which these cues are perceived. They present females with audio and video recordings of calling males, under scotopic lighting conditions. The visual system of the frog is specialized in having two classes of rod photoreceptors, while video and computer screens are designed to exploit the three classes of cone photoreceptors present in the human visual system. The color of videos must thus be edited for frog rod receptors to make them suitable for display on LED screens. The researchers are additionally investigating the precision of the nervous system in temporal resolution by presenting asynchronous acoustic and visual cues. To this end, videos must be altered to an array of differing temporal resolutions, while preserving all other visual features. It may also be necessary to graphically create stimuli to obtain precision in visual representation of movement. These stimuli will be presented to female frogs; their behavior and correlating neural activity will then be analyzed.

Group Member

Katrina Schrode, Graduate Student