Studies from University of Pennsylvania Yield New Information about Experimental Biology [Vocal production complexity correlates with neural instructions in the oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau)]
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Investigators publish new report on Life Science Research. According to news reporting from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Sound communication is fundamental to many social interactions and essential to courtship and agonistic behaviours in many vertebrates. The swimbladder and associated muscles in batrachoidid fishes (midshipman and toadfish) is a unique vertebrate sound production system, wherein fundamental frequencies are determined directly by the firing rate of a vocal-acoustic neural network that drives the contraction frequency of superfast swimbladder muscles."
The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Pennsylvania, "The oyster toadfish boatwhistle call starts with an irregular sound waveform that could be an emergent property of the peripheral nonlinear sound-producing system or reflect complex encoding in the central nervous system. Here, we demonstrate that the start of the boatwhistle is indicative of a chaotic strange attractor, and tested whether its origin lies in the peripheral sound-producing system or in the vocal motor network. We recorded sound and swimbladder muscle activity in awake, freely behaving toadfish during motor nerve stimulation, and recorded sound, motor nerve and muscle activity during spontaneous grunts. The results show that rhythmic motor volleys do not cause complex sound signals. However, arrhythmic recruitment of swimbladder muscle during spontaneous grunts correlates with complex sounds. This supports the hypothesis that the irregular start of the boatwhistle is encoded in the vocal pre-motor neural network, and not caused by peripheral interactions with the sound-producing system."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "We suggest that sound production system demands across vocal tetrapods have selected for muscles and motorneurons adapted for speed, which can execute complex neural instructions into equivalently complex vocalisations."
For more information on this research see: Vocal production complexity correlates with neural instructions in the oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau). Journal of Experimental Biology, 2014;217(11):1887-1893. Journal of Experimental Biology can be contacted at: Company Of Biologists Ltd, Bidder Building Cambridge Commercial Park Cowley Rd, Cambridge CB4 4DL, Cambs, England (see also Life Science Research).
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.P.H. Elemans, University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of Biol, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States. Additional authors for this research include A.F. Mensinger and L.C. Rome.
Keywords for this news article include: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Neural Networks, Life Science Research, North and Central America
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