Effects of plasticity and individual variation in sensory biology on sexual selection
Tuesday 30 July

UMC Ballrooms
Organizers: Jeffrey Lucas & Esteban Fernández-Juricic

Many signalers convey information about their quality in mating displays.  While much is known about how signalers vary in terms of signaling, individual variation in detection of these signals is relatively unexplored. This is a critical issue in communication, particularly with respect to the role of communication in mating contexts, because individual variation in signal processing can generate variability in signal content from the sender’s perspective.  For example, seasonal patterns in signal processing provide one source of individual variation if individuals vary in the extent and timing of seasonal changes in sensory physiology.  Thus the theoretical understanding of phenomena such as honest signaling, sensory drive, and assortative mating, may need to be re-evaluated in light of individual variation in signal processing. This half-day symposium will address these issues over a diversity of taxonomic groups (birds, fish) and focusing on a diversity of sensory modes (auditory, visual, electrical).

2:00 PM Symposium Introduction: Signals and individual variation in sensory systems--JR Lucas, K Ronald, M Gall, K Henry
2:30 PM Sources of variation in auditory processing--MD Gall, W Wilczynski, JR Lucas
3:00 PM Signal-sense mismatch and the gymnotiform solution--P Stoddard
3:30 PM Mechanisms of adaptive hearing for social communication: recent insights from a vocal fish--JA Sisneros

4:30 PM Consequences of auditory system variability for mate choice in frogs--K Hoke
5:00 PM Appreciating plasticity in sensory systems of both senders and receivers in sexual selection--L Day

5:30 PM Incorporating the receiver's visual system into the mate choice equation--E Fernandez-Juricic

Symposium Wrap-up  -E Fernandez-Juricic