The long-term goal of this laboratory is to understand how biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology enable hearing of high sensitivity and directional acuity. This proposal focuses on microscale ears because physical constraints make sound localization and high sensitivity extraordinarily challenging with ears of microscale dimension. Mosquitoes are among the smallest animals that hear. They possess antennae attached to Johnston's hearing organs (JOs) as external appendages on their heads. JOs are functionally analogous to the mammalian cochlea, but far more accessible. This work will use Doppler laser vibrometry to measure mechanical responses and physiological recordings to test the sensitivity of the two antennae. Preliminary data show that these ears are sensitive to sound over a large bandwidth and have modes of vibration substantially different from those published before. These data will lead to a mathematical model of antennal vibration. Preliminary calculations already indicate that antennae may have noise characteristics superior to those of tympana. The Aedes mosquito is not the smallest insect that hears. Interestingly, the antennae of even tinier midges and of even larger mosquito species are all about the same size. This suggests that they are all near the lower size limit for acoustic function. Comparing ears in these three species may reveal the limits of auditory function. The over 30,000 sensory cells of the JO have a unique and highly-ordered architecture that suggest tonotopic organization and modality fractionation enabling performance equal to macroscopic ears. Mosquito antennae respond to gravity and wind as well as to sound. The basic structure and function of antennae will be probed with molecular markers to determine functional subdivisions among its mechanosensory neurons. This research is relevant to public health and the mission of NIDCD. Far-field particle velocity and antennal ears are a relatively unexplored realm of auditory acoustics at small size. A goal of this work is to reveal the basic principles behind auditory function at all size scales. Miniaturization is coveted goal in practical engineering. The design features of these miniature ears could motivate mechanical engineers to biomimic and """"""""translate"""""""" them into novel nano-to-microscale directional microphones. These findings potentially extend well beyond mere entomological curiosity.
This project investigates hearing in the smallest known ears, with the ultimate goal of providing information that engineers might use to develop small directional microphones for improved hearing aids.
|Shamble, Paul S; Menda, Gil; Golden, James R et al. (2016) Airborne Acoustic Perception by a Jumping Spider. Curr Biol 26:2913-2920|
|Menda, Gil; Uhr, Joshua H; Wyttenbach, Robert A et al. (2013) Associative learning in the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti: avoidance of a previously attractive odor or surface color that is paired with an aversive stimulus. J Exp Biol 216:218-23|
|Arthur, Benjamin J; Sunayama-Morita, Tomoko; Coen, Philip et al. (2013) Multi-channel acoustic recording and automated analysis of Drosophila courtship songs. BMC Biol 11:11|
|Hoy, Ronald R (2012) Evolution. Convergent evolution of hearing. Science 338:894-5|
|Cator, Lauren J; Arthur, Benjamin J; Ponlawat, Alongkot et al. (2011) Behavioral observations and sound recordings of free-flight mating swarms of Ae. Aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in Thailand. J Med Entomol 48:941-6|
|Ratcliffe, John M; Fullard, James H; Arthur, Benjamin J et al. (2011) Adaptive auditory risk assessment in the dogbane tiger moth when pursued by bats. Proc Biol Sci 278:364-70|
|Krans, Jacob L; Parfitt, Karen D; Gawera, Kristin D et al. (2010) The resting membrane potential of Drosophila melanogaster larval muscle depends strongly on external calcium concentration. J Insect Physiol 56:304-13|
|Arthur, Ben J; Wyttenbach, Robert A; Harrington, Laura C et al. (2010) Neural responses to one- and two-tone stimuli in the hearing organ of the dengue vector mosquito. J Exp Biol 213:1376-85|
|Rubinstein, C Dustin; Rivlin, Patricia K; Hoy, Ron R (2010) Genetic feminization of the thoracic nervous system disrupts courtship song in male Drosophila melanogaster. J Neurogenet 24:234-45|
|Cator, Lauren J; Arthur, Ben J; Harrington, Laura C et al. (2009) Harmonic convergence in the love songs of the dengue vector mosquito. Science 323:1077-9|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 34 publications