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dc.contributor.authorSpeck, Bretta
dc.contributor.authorSeidita, Sara
dc.contributor.authorBelo, Samuel
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Samuel
dc.contributor.authorConley, Caley
dc.contributor.authorDesjonquères, Camille
dc.contributor.authorRodríguez, Rafael L
dc.identifier.citationSpeck , B , Seidita , S , Belo , S , Johnson , S , Conley , C , Desjonquères , C & Rodríguez , R L 2020 , ' Combinatorial signal processing in an insect ' , American Naturalist , vol. 196 , no. 4 , pp. 406-413 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 270806469
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 65692ed4-eefc-4a0d-ac17-359f94fe354d
dc.identifier.otherPubMed: 32970471
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-6150-3264/work/83086205
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85090984516
dc.description.abstractHuman language is combinatorial: phonemes are grouped into syllables, syllables are grouped into words, and so on. The capacity for combinatorial processing is present, in different degrees, in some mammals and birds. We used vibrational insects, Enchenopa treehoppers, to test the hypothesis of basic combinatorial processing against two competing hypotheses: beginning rule (where the early signal portions play a stronger role in acceptability) and no ordering rule (where the order of signal elements plays no role in signal acceptability). Enchenopa males use plant-borne vibrational signals that consist of a whine followed by pulses. We tested the above hypotheses with vibrational playback experiments in which we presented Enchenopa females with stimuli varying in signal element combinations. We monitored female responses to these playbacks with laser vibrometry. We found strong support for combinatorial processing in Enchenopa: in brief, females preferred natural-combination signals regardless of the beginning element and discriminated against reverse-order signals or individual elements. Finding support for the combinatorial rule hypothesis in insects suggests that this capability represents a common solution to the problems presented by complex communication.
dc.relation.ispartofAmerican Naturalisten
dc.rightsCopyright © 2020 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectMate choiceen
dc.subjectSignal processingen
dc.subjectVibrational signalingen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleCombinatorial signal processing in an insecten
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Biologyen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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