Sounds Of Survival

Many animals communicate with members of their own species using specific sounds. These sounds are behaviorally relevant to the animals because they facilitate important behaviors such as maintaining a territory or finding offspring on return from foraging. To learn more about this, Biologist Christine Portfors, at Washington State University, is studying how male and female mice react to each other. She monitors their ultra high-pitch sounds and observes their behavior. Afterwards, she analyzes neural activity recoded while they were listening to the ultra high pitch sounds. These experiments are helping Portfors learn more about how animals process the sounds they hear from each other, and how they associate or assign meaning to those sounds on a behavioral and a neural basis. This research will increase the understanding of how sound perception helps animals survive.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 2:32

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