NSCI590/NBIO590 2012: Bats, Owls, Electric Fish


Contact Info


Course Requirements

  1. This course depends on class participation! Two people each week will be responsible for guiding the discussion. Everyone is expected to read the required papers and come prepared to discuss them.
  2. Required papers are just that; background papers are useful if you're totally new to the topic and feel like you need a quick intro. The reference books listed at the end have chapters on most of the topics we'll discuss. Library has them (not on reserve) or you can borrow them from Jamie.
  3. Presenters can use powerpoint etc -- but the presentation should facilite discussion, not just be copies of the figures. Think of good questions to kick off the discussion!
  4. All attendees, even if you're auditing, will be assigned at least one topic.
  5. Grading will be based on class partitipation and presentation quality in equal parts.


Week 1: Sound Localization in Barn Owls

  1. [req] Knudsen EI, Konishi M. A neural map of auditory space in the owl. Science. 200(4343):795-7. 1978. [pdf]
  2. [req] Carr CE, Konishi M. Axonal delay lines for time measurement in the owl's brainstem. PNAS. 85(21):8311-5. 1988. [pdf]
  3. [req] Takahashi T, Konshi M, Selectivity for interaural time difference in the owl's midbrain. J. Neurosci. 6(12):3412-22. 1986 [pdf]
  4. [req] Knudsen EI, Knudsen PF. Vision guides the adjustment of auditory localization in young barn owls. Science. 230(4725):545-8. 1985. [pdf]

Week 2: Bat Ecology/Ethology

  1. [req] Griffin, D.R., Webster F.A., Michael, C.R. The echolocation of flying insects by bats. Animal Behav. 8:151-154. 1960. [pdf]
  2. [req] Neuweiler G. Evolutionary aspects of bat echolocation. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol., 189(4):245-56. 2003. [pdf]
  3. [req] Kick SA, Simmons JA. Automatic gain control in the bat's sonar receiver and the neuroethology of echolocation. J Neurosci. 4(11):2725-37. 1984. [pdf]
  4. [req] Simmons JA. Evidence for perception of fine echo delay and phase by the FM bat, Eptesicus fuscus. J Comp Physiol [A]. 172(5):533-47. 1993. [pdf]
  5. [bg] Schnitzler, H.U., Flieger, E. Detection of oscillating target movements by echolocation in the greater horshoe bat. J. Comp Physiol. 153:385-391. 1983. [pdf]
  6. [bg] Neuweiler G. Auditory adaptations for prey capture in echolocating bats. Physiol Rev. 70(3):615-41. 1990. [pdf]

Week 3: Bat Neurophysiology

  1. [req] O'Neill WE, Suga N. Target range-sensitive neurons in the auditory cortex of the mustache bat. Science. 203(4375):69-73. 1979. [pdf]
  2. [req] Suga N, Jen PH. Disproportionate tonotopic representation for processing CF-FM sonar signals in the mustache bat auditory cortex. Science. 194(4264):542-4. 1976. [pdf]
  3. [req] Suga N, O'Neill WE, Manabe T. Cortical neurons sensitive to combinations of information-bearing elements of biosonar signals in the mustache bat. Science. 200(4343):778-81. 1978. [pdf]
  4. [bg] Suga, N. "Auditory neuroethology and speech processing: complex-sound processing by combination-sensitive neurons". In G.M. Edelman et al. (eds.) Auditory Function: Neurobiological bases of hearing. New York: Wiley, pp. 679-720. 1988. [pdf] +fig3

Week 4: Electric Fish

  1. [req] Rose, G. J., "Insights into neural mechanisms and evolution of behavior from electric fish", Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2004 [pdf]
  2. [req] Heiligenberg, W. "The Jamming Avoidance REsponse of Eignmannia". [pdf]
  3. [bg] Hopkins, C. D. Neuroethology of electric communication. Annu Rev Neurosci. 11:497-535. 1988. [pdf]
  4. [bg] Heiligenberg, W. The neural basis of behavior: a neuroethological view. Annu Rev Neurosci. 14:247-267. 1991. [pdf]

Week 5: Bird song

  1. [req] Doupe AJ, Konishi M., Song-selective auditory circuits in the vocal control system of the zebra finch. PNAS, 88(24):11339-43, 1991. [pdf]
  2. [req] Lewicki MS, Konishi M. Mechanisms underlying the sensitivity of songbird forebrain neurons to temporal order. PNAS. 92(12):5582-6, 1995. [pdf]
  3. [req] Leonardo A, Konishi M. Decrystallization of adult birdsong by perturbation of auditory feedback. Nature. 399(6735):466-70. 1999. [pdf]
  4. [bg] Brainard MS, Doupe AJ. Auditory feedback in learning and maintenance of vocal behaviour. Nat Rev Neurosci. 1(1):31-40. 2000. [pdf]
  5. [bg] Brainard MS, Doupe AJ. What songbirds teach us about learning. Nature, 417(6886):351-8. 2002. [pdf]

Week 6: Insect Communication

  1. [req] Hill KG, Boyan GS. Directional hearing in crickets. Nature. 262(5567):390-1, 1976. [pdf]
  2. [req] Hill KG, and Boyan, GS. Sensitivity to frequency and direction of sound in the auditory system of crickets (Gryllidae). Journal of Comparative Physiology 121, 79-97, 1977. [pdf]
  3. [req] Michelson A. The Tuned Cricket. News in Physiological Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 1, 32-38, February 1998. [pdf]
  4. [req] De Marco R, Menzel R. Encoding spatial information in the waggle dance. J Exp Biol. 2005 Oct 15;208(Pt 20):3885-94. [pdf]
  5. [bg] Oldfield BP. Accuracy of orientation in female crickets,Teleogryllus oceaniens (Gryllidae): dependence on song spectrum. J Comp Physiol 141:9399, 1980. [pdf]
  6. [bg] Von Frisch, Karl. Decoding the Language of the Bee. Nobel Lecture, 1973. [pdf]

Week 7: Primate Communication

  1. [req] Seyfarth RM, Cheney DL, Marler P. Monkey responses to three different alarm calls: evidence of predator classification and semantic communication. Science. 210:801-3. 1980 [pdf]
  2. [req] Arnold, K and Kuberbuhler, K, Semantic combinations in primate calls. Nature. 441:303-303. 2006 [pdf]
  3. [req] Fitch, WT and Hauser, MD, Computational Constraints on Syntatic Processing in a Nonhuman Primate. Science, 303:377-379. 2004 [pdf]
  4. [req] Ramus, F, Hause, MD, Miller, C, Morris, D, Mehler, J, Language Discrimination by human newborns and by cotton-top Tamarin monkeys. Science 288:349-350. [pdf]
  5. [req] Kuhl, PK , Williams, KA, Lacerda, F, Stevens, KN, Lindbolm, B. Linguistic experience alters phonetic perception in infants by 6 months of age. Science 255:606-608, 1992. [pdf]
  6. [bg] Hauser, MD, Ontogentic changes in the comprehension and production of Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) vocalization. J. Comp. Psych. 103(2):149-159, 1989. [pdf]

Week 8: Insect Navigation (10/29 4:00-5:30pm)

  1. [req] Tautz J, Zhang S, Spaethe J, Brockmann A, Si A, Srinivasan M. Honeybee odometry: performance in varying natural terrain. PLoS Biol. 2004 Jul;2(7):211. 2004. [pdf]
  2. [req] Sommer S, Wehner R. The ant's estimation of distance travelled: experiments with desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis. J Comp Physiol A. 2004 Jan;190(1):1-6. [pdf]
  3. [req] Sommer S, Wehner R. Vector navigation in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis: celestial compass cues are essential for the proper use of distance information. Naturwissenschaften. 2005 Sep 15;:1-4. [pdf]
  4. [req] Heinze S, Gotthardt S, Homberg U., Transformation of polarized light information in the central complex of the locust. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 23;29(38):11783-93. [pdf]
  5. [bg] Srinivasan MV, Zhang S. Visual motor computations in insects. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2004;27:679-96. [pdf]

Week 9: Schooling, Swarming and Flocking (11/5 4:00-5:30pm)

  1. [req] Anstey, Rogers, Ott, Burrows, Simpson. Serotonin mediates behavioral gregarization underlying swarm formation in desert locusts. Science, 323:627, 2009. [pdf]
  2. [req] Pratt, Mallon, Sumpter, Franks. Quorum sensing, recruitment, and collective decision-making during colony emigration by the ant Leptothorax albipennis. Behav Ecol Sociobiol, 52:117-127, 2002. [pdf]
  3. [req] Dyer, Ioannou, Morrell, Crogt, Couzin, Waters, Krause. Consensus decision making in human crowds. Animal Behavior, 75:461-470, 2008. [pdf]
  4. [req] Ioannou, Cuttal, Couzin, Predatory fish select for coordinated collective motion in virtual prey. Science, 337:1212-1215, 2012. [pdf]
  5. [bg] Sumpter. The principles of collective animal behavior, Phil Trans Roy Soc B, 361:5-22, 2006. [pdf]
  6. [bg] Couzin. Collective cognition in animal groups, TICS, 13:36-43, 2009. [pdf]
  7. [bg] Couzin Krause, James, Roxton and Franks. Collective memory and spatial sorting in animal groups. J. Theor. Biol. 218:1-11, 2002. [pdf]

Week 10: Insect Flight, Command Neurons and Central Pattern Generators

  1. [req] Wilson. The central nervous conrol of flight in a locust. J. Exp. Biol, 1961. [pdf]
  2. [req] Edwards, Heitler and Krasne. Fifty years of a command neuron: the neurobiology of escape behavior in the crayfish. TINS. 1999. [pdf]
  3. [req] Tammero and Dickinson. The influence of visual landscape on the free flight behavior of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. J. Exp. Biol. 2002. [pdf]
  4. [req] Hausen and Wehrhahn. Neural circuits mediating visual flight control in flies. 1. Quantitative comparison of neural and behavioral response characterisics. J. Neurosci. 1989 [pdf]
  5. [bg] Korn and Faber. The Mauthner cell half a century later: A neurobiological model for decision-making?. Neuron. 2005. [pdf]
  6. [bg] Hoy, Nolen and Brodfuehrer. The neurobiology of acoustic startle and escape in flying insects. J Exp Biol. 1989 [pdf]
  7. [bg] Frye and Dickinson. Closing the loop between neurobiology and flight behvaior in Drosophila. Curr Op Neurobio. 2004 [pdf]

Week 11: Fixed Action Patterns and Innate Releasing Mechanisms

  1. [req] Tinbergen. The Study of Instinct (Chapter II). 1988. [pdf]
  2. [req] Tinbergen and Perdeck, On the stimulus situation releasing the begging response in the newly hatched herring gull chick (Larus agentatus agentatus pont). Behavior 3:-39, 1950. [pdf]
  3. [req] Tinbergen and van Iersel, "Displacement reactions" in the three-spined stickleback. Behavior, 1:56-63, 1947. [pdf]
  4. [req] Lehrman, A critique of Konrad Lorenz's theory of instinctive behavior. Quart.y Rev. Biol. 28:337-362, 1953. [pdf]
  5. [bg] ten Cate, Bruins, Ouden, Egberts, Neevel, Spierings, van der Berg and Brokenhof. Tinbergen revisited: a replication and extension of experiments on the beak colour preferences of herring gull chicks. Animal Behavior 77:795-802, 2009. [pdf]

Week 12: Olfaction: Behavior and Coding

  1. [req] Kennedy and Marsh, "Pheromone-regulared anemotaxis in flying moths", Science, 184:999-1001, 1974. [pdf]
  2. [req] DasGupta and Waddell, "Learned Odor Discrimination in Drosophila without Combinatorial Odor Maps in the Antennal Lobe", Current Biology, 18(210:1668-1674, 2008, [pdf]
  3. [req] Raman, B, Joseph, J, Tang, J, & Stopfer, M. "Temporally Diverse Firing Patterns in Olfactory Receptor Neurons Underlie Spatiotemporal Neural Codes for Odors", J. Neurosci, 30(6), 1994–2006. 2010, [pdf]
  4. [req] Su CY, Menuz K, Reisert J, Carlson JR. "Non-synaptic inhibition between grouped neurons in an olfactory circuit", Nature, 2012, [pdf]

General Neuroethology Reference Books

Specialized Reference Material