Event Title

Do Visual Cues Affect Phonotaxis in Female Gray Treefrogs?

Mentor 1

Gerlinde Hoebel

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Although frogs are generally considered the embodyment of an acoustically communicating animal, recent research indicates that they also pay attention to visual cues. We conducted two-choice playback trials with female gray treefrogs and tested whether providing a visual cue (light-emitting diode, LED) makes a call more attractive relative to an otherwise identical call that is not joined with a visual cue. As predicted, the bimodal stimulus (sound + LED) was more attractive. We further examined whether the preference for the bimodal stimulus may be related to signal localization, which is expected to be easier towards visual than acoustic cues. To do this we conducted a detailed analysis of the speed and directionality of the female’s approach path towards unimodal (sound only) and bimodal (sound + LED) stimuli. Females did not approach the bimodal signal significantly faster or walking a shorter path, but the angular deviation at which they touched to target speaker was marginally significantly smaller when approaching the LED-combined stimulus. This suggests that female gray treefrogs take advantage of visual cues when approaching a call, thus potentially improving signal localization.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Do Visual Cues Affect Phonotaxis in Female Gray Treefrogs?

Union Wisconsin Room

Although frogs are generally considered the embodyment of an acoustically communicating animal, recent research indicates that they also pay attention to visual cues. We conducted two-choice playback trials with female gray treefrogs and tested whether providing a visual cue (light-emitting diode, LED) makes a call more attractive relative to an otherwise identical call that is not joined with a visual cue. As predicted, the bimodal stimulus (sound + LED) was more attractive. We further examined whether the preference for the bimodal stimulus may be related to signal localization, which is expected to be easier towards visual than acoustic cues. To do this we conducted a detailed analysis of the speed and directionality of the female’s approach path towards unimodal (sound only) and bimodal (sound + LED) stimuli. Females did not approach the bimodal signal significantly faster or walking a shorter path, but the angular deviation at which they touched to target speaker was marginally significantly smaller when approaching the LED-combined stimulus. This suggests that female gray treefrogs take advantage of visual cues when approaching a call, thus potentially improving signal localization.