Receiver psychology and the evolution of multicomponent signals

  title={Receiver psychology and the evolution of multicomponent signals},
  author={Candy Rowe},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
  • C. Rowe
  • Published 1 November 1999
  • Psychology
  • Animal Behaviour
Many animals produce and respond to signals made up of multiple components. For example, many avian sexual displays are highly extravagant combinations of visual and acoustic elements, and are described as being 'multicomponent'. One possible reason for the evolution of such complex signals is that they provide more reliable information for receivers. However, receivers also influence signal evolution in another important way, by how they perceive and process signals: signallers will be… 
Complex signals alter recognition accuracy and conspecific acceptance thresholds
Individual-based models with a genetic algorithm are used to test how complex signals influence recognition thresholds, signaller phenotypes and receiver responses and it is shown that redundant, complex signals are an evolutionarily stable mechanism to reduce recognition errors.
Inter-signal interaction and uncertain information in anuran multimodal signals
This study test mate preferences of female squirrel treefrogs Hyla squirella and female tungara frogs Physalaemus pustulosus for similar combinations of acoustic and visual components of their multimodal courtship signals and suggests features of conspicuous signal components such as body stripes are not universally important and signal function is likely to differ even among species with similar ecologies and communication systems.
The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Bimodal Primate Vocal Communication
The two primary channels of social communication in primate species are the face and the voice and there is no doubt that each alone can provide perceptually, cognitively and socially meaningful
The functions of multiple visual signals in a fiddler crab
This paper proposed to identify the roles of movement-based multiple signals in a model animal system, and explored the adaptive meaning of the wave types by manipulating the social context in which males wave.
Should receivers follow multiple signal components? An economic perspective
It is argued that alternative receiver benefits need to be considered to explain the prevalence of complex signals in nature.
Communication Through a Window of Error: Proportional Processing and Signal Categorization
This work predicts how receiver error can influence the evolution of communication systems, including signal characteristics, signaler strategies, and receiver behaviors, and invites researchers to apply these concepts in diverse areas of animal communication study.
Nonlinear processing of a multicomponent communication signal by combination-sensitive neurons in the anuran inferior colliculus
This work investigated how female green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea) integrate the multiple spectral components present in male advertisement calls, consistent with the hypothesis that nonlinearities play potentially critical roles in spectral integration and in the neural processing of multicomponent communication signals.
Toward Testing for Multimodal Perception of Mating Signals
This work discusses how this conceptual dichotomy might have hampered a more integrative, perception encompassing understanding of multimodal communication: neither the multiple message nor the back-up signal hypotheses address the possibility that multi-modal signals are integrated neurally into one percept.


Receiver psychology and the evolution of animal signals
Receiver psychology and the design of animal signals
Honest advertisement of multiple qualities using multiple signals
Multiple Displays in Animal Communication:`Backup Signals' and `Multiple Messages'
A new game-theoretical model of signalling is described, in which signallers may use more than one display to advertise their qualities, and multiple signals are shown to be stable, even when multiple receiver preferences entail significant costs.
"Conventional" Signals in Avian Agonistic Displays: Integrating Theory, Data and Different Levels of Analysis.
  • Deag, Scott
  • Psychology
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 1999
We present an integration of communication theory and data, drawing on examples from titmice (Aves: Paridae). We suggest how display actions such as lifting the head, raising the nape feathers, crest
Divided attention: Evidence for coactivation with redundant signals
Hidden colour aversions in domestic chicks triggered by pyrazine odours of insect warning displays
This study demonstrates, in prey choice experiments with birds, that pyrazine interacts with red and yellow to induce strong aversions to these aposematic colours that are not shown in the absence of the odour.
The function of concurrent signals: visual and chemical communication in snapping shrimp
The relative costs and benefits associated with aggressive and pair-forming interactions differ for males and females, and these differences are likely to contribute to the differences in assessment observed here.
The chemistry of social regulation: multicomponent signals in ant societies.
  • B. Hölldobler
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1995
Chemical signals mediating communication in ant societies are usually complex mixtures of substances with considerable variation in molecular composition and in relative proportions of components, and modulatory signals may further evolve to become independent releasing signals.
The Merging of the Senses
The authors draw on their own experiments to illustrate how sensory inputs converge on individual neurons in different areas of the brain, how these neurons integrate their inputs, the principles by which this integration occurs, and what this may mean for perception and behavior.