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The sender-receiver matching hypothesis predicts that species-specific features of vocalizations will be reflected in species-specific auditory processing. This hypothesis has most often been invoked to explain correlations between vocal frequency ranges and the frequency range of auditory sensitivity; however, it could apply to other structural features,(More)
Receiver sensory abilities can be influenced by a number of factors, including habitat, phylogeny and the selective pressure to acquire information about conspecifics or heterospecifics. It has been hypothesized that brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) females may locate or determine the quality of potential hosts by eavesdropping on their(More)
Physical tradeoffs may in some cases constrain the evolution of sensory systems. The peripheral auditory system, for example, performs a spectral decomposition of sound that should result in a tradeoff between frequency resolution and temporal resolution. We assessed temporal resolution in three songbird species using auditory brainstem responses to paired(More)
Foraging mode influences the dominant sensory modality used by a forager and likely the strategies of information gathering used in foraging and anti-predator contexts. We assessed three components of visual information gathering in a sit-and-wait avian predator, the black phoebe (Sayornis nigricans): configuration of the visual field, degree of eye(More)
Studies of auditory temporal resolution in birds have traditionally examined processing capabilities by assessing behavioral discrimination of sounds varying in temporal structure. Here, temporal resolution of the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) was measured using two auditory evoked potential (AEP)-based methods: auditory brainstem responses (ABRs)(More)
Many species of songbirds exhibit dramatic seasonal variation in song output. Recent evidence suggests that seasonal changes in auditory processing are coincident with seasonal variation in vocal output. Here, we show, for the first time, that frequency selectivity and temporal resolution of the songbird auditory periphery change seasonally and in a(More)
The ability of a receiver to detect a signal is a product of the signal characteristics at the sender, habitat-specific degradation of the signal, and properties of the receiver's sensory system. Active space describes the maximum distance at which a receiver with a given sensory system can detect a signal in a given habitat. Here the effect of habitat(More)
We investigated whether hearing advertisement calls over several nights, as happens in natural frog choruses, modified the responses of the peripheral auditory system in the green treefrog, Hyla cinerea. Using auditory evoked potentials (AEP), we found that exposure to 10 nights of a simulated male chorus lowered auditory thresholds in males and females,(More)
One of the major difficulties encountered by animals that select mates using acoustic signals is discriminating individual calls from the background noise generated by other conspecifics. Reducing the effects of conspecific masking could improve discrimination of individual calls from background noise. We used auditory evoked potentials to investigate the(More)
The black-capped chickadee is a songbird that has been used extensively as a model of animal communication in field and laboratory settings. Although many studies have focused on the complex call and song systems of the black-capped chickadee, relatively fewer studies have focused on chickadee audition. However, we do know from behavioral and molecular work(More)