Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Active hearing process in mosquitoes

Date:
November 21, 2009
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
A mathematical model has explained some of the remarkable features of mosquito hearing. In particular, the male can hear the faintest beats of the female's wings and yet is not deafened by loud noises.

This is a mosquito hearing organ.
Credit: University of Bristol

A mathematical model has explained some of the remarkable features of mosquito hearing. In particular, the male can hear the faintest beats of the female's wings and yet is not deafened by loud noises.

Related Articles


The new research from the University of Bristol is published in the Journal of the Royal Society: Interface

Insects have evolved diverse and delicate morphological structures in order to hear the naturally low energy of a transmitting sound wave. In mosquitoes, the hearing of acoustic energy, and its conversion into neuronal signals, is assisted by multiple individual sensory units called scolopidia.

The researchers have developed a simple microscopic mechanistic model of the active amplification in the Tanzanian mosquito species Toxorhynchites brevipalpis. The model is based on the description of the antenna as a forced-damped oscillator attached to a set of active threads (groups of scolopidia) that provide an impulsive force when they twitch. The twitching is controlled by channels that are opened and closed if the antennal oscillation reaches critical amplitude. The model matches both qualitatively and quantitatively with recent experiments: spontaneous oscillations, nonlinear amplification, hysteresis, 2:1 resonances, frequency response, gain loss due to hypoxia.

The numerical simulations also generate new hypotheses. In particular, the model seems to indicate that scolopidia located toward the tip of the Johnston's organ are responsible for the entrainment of the other scolopidia, and that they give the largest contribution to the mechanical amplification.

Dr Daniele Avitabile, Research Assistant in the Bristol Centre for Applied Nonlinear Mathematics in the Department of Engineering Maths, said: "The numerical results presented also generate new questions. In our description of the system, for instance, all threads have the same material properties, but their impact on the dynamics of the antenna varies according to the spatial location of the threads: intuitively, an external thread induces a much larger torque than an internal one.

"However, the true physiology of the threads is more complex, due to the curved arrangement of Johnston's organ, and further research into the effect of the subsequent mechanical variation of each thread needs to be carried out."

The paper will be published in the January issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, which will be online on 20 November 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Active hearing process in mosquitoes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193809.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2009, November 21). Active hearing process in mosquitoes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193809.htm
University of Bristol. "Active hearing process in mosquitoes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193809.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Privacy regulators recommend Google expand its requested removals to apply to all its web domains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Predictions Of Tablets' Demise Sound Familiar

Predictions Of Tablets' Demise Sound Familiar

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The tablet's days are numbered, at least according to a recent IDC report. The market-research firm paints a grim outlook for tablets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins