The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #94136

Title:Firing Frequency: a Location Cue in Robot and Cricket Phonotaxis
Date: 1994
Abstract:Female crickets can find the male by means of the calling song it produces. It has been demonstrated that this is the only necessary cue for the female tracking the male down. Many studies have been done at different levels on the auditory system of crickets. it has been studied from biological, behavioural and neuroethological points of view. For the first two, many clear and definite results have been obtained but for the third case there are still many doubts about the underlying neural mechanisms which generate its behaviour. Taxis generally involves comparing signal strength in at least two locations, and turning to the stronger signal. The cricket's ears encode sound intensity in two ways: the latency of onset of firing and the frequency of firing. Either could be used to discriminate the side where the sound is coming from. Webb (1993) developed a robot-based model of cricket phonotaxis which could also account for the selectivity for specific temporal patterns. Most cricket research has assumed, in contrast, that the firing frequency is that the critical cue and that selectivity involves a separate "recogniser" system. The aim of this project is to develop a model of a system of this latter sort, that can be implemented and tested on the same robot base as was the former, to allow a comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two models for explaining cricket behaviour.

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