Sensorium 2018 Program

All times are USA EST time (GMT-5)

Schedule (presentation titles/abstracts below):

12:00pm- 1:00pm Networking Lunch (Poster setup)

1:00pm – Begin Sessions with Announcements and Welcome to Sensorium 2018!

1:10pm-2:20pm – Oral Presentations Session #1

2:20pm-3:10 pm – Poster Session (and coffee break) #1

3:10pm-4:30pm – Oral Presentations Session #2

4:30pm-5:20pm – Poster Session (and coffee break) #2

5:20pm-6:10pm – Oral Presentations Session #3

6:30pm-8:30pm Dinner

Oral Presentations Session #1- 1:00pm-2:20pm

Chair: Jeff Lucas

1:10pm- A unifying eye-development model within arthropods

Elke Buschbeck

University of Cincinnati (elke.buschbeck@uc.edu)

Abstract:

Emerging evidence on arthropods suggest that a unifying eye development mechanism may underlie a variety of functionally distinct eye types.  To test this idea we developed a Python based computer simulation of eye development that allows us to identify and manipulate key eye development parameters.  While still crude and preliminary the model successfully captures a variety of eye layouts (from compound eyes to single-chambered, image forming eyes) by changing very few parameters.

 

1:20pm- Zika virus pathogenesis in the developing inner ear

Ankita Thawani, Nabilah H Sammudin, Hannah Reygaerts, Vidhya Munnamalai, Richard J. Kuhn, and Donna M. Fekete

Purdue University (athawan@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

Zika virus is an emerging tropical pathogen that preferentially infects neural stem cells and causes severe congenital defects in the human fetuses including microcephaly, retinopathy and sensorineural hearing loss. The time of gestation, when the fetus is most susceptible to sensorineural hearing loss is unexplored, so we directly inoculate the inner ear primordium of the chicken embryos, to address the spatial and temporal spread of the virus. One of our findings is that the sensory domain of the hearing organ seems to be highly susceptible to infection at the stage when the mechanosensory cells are starting to mature.

 

1:30pm- Photoreceptor Recycling in Thermonectus marmoratus

Rose Conley, Elke Buschbeck and Birgit Ehmer

University of Cincinnati (conleyre@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

The eyes of Thermonectus marmostatus are unique and we here question if they could recycle their photoreceptor membranes in a manner similar to vertebrates. A careful examination of transmission electron microscope images provides some evidence that, in contrast to some other arthropods, but like vertebrates, adjacent pigment cells recycle shed rhabdomeric membranes. T. marmoratus have elaborate image forming eyes, and vertebrate-like photoreceptor membrane recycling would further highlight their importance for the study of fundamental visual processes.

 

1:40pm- Diet changes saliva

Cordelia A. Running

Purdue University (crunning@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

Saliva can influence flavor, but whether that influence is constant or not is unclear. We’ve tested the concentrations of salivary proteins in relationship to both habitual diet as well as in response to feeding people specific flavors/foods, and observed changes in salivary proteins. Thus, we conclude that diet changes saliva, and some of those changes could directly influence the flavors experienced from that diet.

 

1:50pm- Color variation in Old World leaf warbler plumage patches

Kristina Fialko

University of Chicago (fialko@uchicago.edu)

Abstract:

Variation in the brightness (quantity of plumage patches) of the Old World leaf warblers are a classically cited example of the sensory drive hypothesis, but the color of these visual signals has never been studied. Using spectrophotometry, I quantified the reflectance of plumage patches for sympatric species in the Western Himalaya. Subtle variations in color separate some species and these may be related to habitat.

 

2:00pm- The chemical basis of individual identity signals:  Shell pigment concentrations track the unique appearance of Common Murre eggs

Mark E. Hauber, Alexander L. Bond, Amy-Lee Kouwenberg, Gregory J. Robertson, Erpur S. Hansen, Mande Holford, Miri Dainson, Alec Luro, and James Dale
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (mhauber@illinois.edu)

Abstract:

The proximate basis for how individual differences arise in perceivable identity signals is rarely explored. We quantified characteristics of the avian-visible appearance and the physico-chemical structure of common murre eggshells collected from the wild. The results illustrate that individually unique eggshell appearances, suitable for individual identity signaling, can be generated by a small number of structural mechanisms.

 

Oral Presentations Session #2- 3:10pm- 4:30pm

Chair: Benny Goller

3:10pm- A critical evaluation of TRPA1-mediated locomotor behavior in zebrafish as a screening tool for novel analgesic drug discovery

MeeJung Ko, Logan Ganzen, Emre Coskun, Yuk Fai Leung, and Richard van Rijn

Purdue University (ko59@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

  1. Goal: To develop a novel animal model of pain, we evaluated the strengths and limitations of using a calcium channel (TRPA1)-mediated hyperlocomotion in zebrafish as a potential preclinical screening tool for drug discovery.
  2. Methods: We used FLIPR®-based calcium assay to record calcium influx, and we measured swimming behavior of zebrafish larvae following TRPA1 activation using a ViewPoint Zebrabox.
  3. Conclusion: TRPA1 agonists and antagonists respectively activated or blocked TRPA1 channel activity in HEK293 cells, and respectively increased or decreased locomotive behavior in zebrafish larvae, and thus our findings validate that the zebrafish larvae can act as an in vivo model to investigate TRPA1-targeted drugs for chronic pain disorder.

 

3:20pm- Sorting out birds along the color vision continuum: from a unidimensional to a multidimensional approach

Esteban Fernández-Juricic and Patrice E. Baumhardt

Purdue University (efernan@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

We developed a multi-dimensional approach to sort out avian color vision, which historically has been done based on a unidimensional approach (UVS vs. VS species). We used information on 13 avian species considering the peak sensitivity of all visual pigments, absorbance properties of oil droplets, and relative cone densities, and classified them using a k-means cluster analysis. Using this multidimensional approach, we identified three avian visual niches whose sorting was significantly explained by: UVS/VS cone peak sensitivity, relative density of LWS and MWS single cones and double cones, and the absorbance properties of the red and yellow oil droplets.

 

3:30pm- Can the mice see optical illusions?

Alexandr Pak and Alexander A. Chubykin

Purdue University (chubykin@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

Recent electrophysiological recordings in monkeys suggest that secondary visual cortical area V2 may be responsible for the perception of optical illusions. We have performed electrophysiological recordings and optogenetic inactivation of secondary visual area V2 (LM) in mice to demonstrate that mice can see optical illusions, and the feedback projection from V2 to V1 is required for this function.

 

3:40pm- Comparison of Psychometric and Neurometric Amplitude-Modulation Detection Thresholds in Chinchillas

Amanda Maulden and Michael Heinz

Purdue University (amaulden@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

The establishment of a mammalian model with corresponding neural and behavioral modulation thresholds is needed to examine the effects of cochlear damage on behavioral and neural assays of temporal processing.  Behavioral amplitude-modulation (AM) detection thresholds were determined for 10 chinchillas using the method of constant stimuli, whereas neurometric thresholds were determined from a separate group of anesthetized animals based on recorded spike-time responses from a population of single units in the auditory nerve and ventral cochlear nucleus. The low behavioral (and neural) thresholds found here contrast with previous work on other mammalian species (e.g., rabbits, gerbils), and are more in line with thresholds found in avian species (e.g., budgerigars) and in humans.

 

3:50pm- Drug Screening and Hit Identification for Night Blindness with Zebrafish
Logan Ganzen and Yuk Fai Leung

Purdue University (lganzen@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

The goal of this project is to utilize a night blindness zebrafish model to identify novel drugs to help patients. This is done by using the model zebrafish’s deficient visual behavior to test for compounds that improve the zebrafish’s vision. We have currently identified an FDA-approved drug that can improve the vision of model zebrafish and prevents degeneration of the retina.

 

4:00pm- Effects of bacterial infection on female visual assessment of male courtship signals in the wolf spider species, Schizocosa ocreata (Hentz)

Olivia Bauer-Nilsen, Alex Sweger and George Uetz

University of Cincinnati (bauernoa@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

The question investigated in this experiment is whether infection with a bacterial pathogen (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) affects female Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders’ visual assessment of differences in male courtship signals.  Both infected and uninfected females were presented with two videos (on iPod Touch® screens) playing back male courtship stimuli of high and low quality.  We found that control females did not significantly differ in receptivity displays between treatment groups; however, the infected females displayed significantly higher receptivity to the higher quality male stimulus than did uninfected females.

 

4:10pm- Manipulating endogenous serotonin affects neural activity and functional connectivity in male mice during playback of female vocalizations
Christopher L. Petersen, Bhumi Patel, Sarah E.D. Davis, and Laura M. Hurley

Indiana University – Bloomington (chlpete@indiana.edu)

Abstract:

We tested the hypothesis that serotonin would interact with social experience to affect immediate early gene expression within the male brain in the presence of female vocalizations. We raised male mice in social or isolated conditions, and played them 60-minute bouts of female vocalizations following pharmacological manipulation of endogenous serotonin.  We find that, independent of rearing, releasing endogenous serotonergic stores increases immediate early gene expression within multiple regions of the brain’s social behavior network, but social upbringing increases functional connectivity between regions.

 

4:20pm- Effects of Predator Size Cues on Prey Foraging Behavior
Tyler Wood and Paul Moore

Bowling Green State University (tcwood@bgsu.edu)

Abstract:

Do prey animals change their foraging behavior when exposed to odor cues from predators of different relative sizes? Rusty crayfish were exposed to the odors of largemouth bass of different sizes, while the crayfish were offered macrophyte samples as a resource to assay food consumption under threat. There was a significant increase in plant consumption when crayfish were small in proportion to their predators, while crayfish that were large in proportion to their predators showed no difference in plant consumption compared to predator free controls.

 

Oral Presentations Session #3- 5:20pm-6:10pm

Chair: Benny Goller

5:20pm – The creation of a human induced pluripotent stem cell reporter for retina differentiation
Michael L. Robinson, Phuong T. Lam, Christian Gutierrez, and Katia Del Rio-Tsonis

Miami University (robinsm5@miamioh.edu)

Abstract:

Early in mammalian eye development, VSX2, BRN3b, and RCVRN expression marks neural retina progenitors (NRPs), retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and photoreceptors (PRs), respectively. Here, we describe a CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing strategy to generate a triple transgenic reporter human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) line (PGP1) that utilizes the endogenous VSX2, BRN3b, and RCVRN promoters to specifically express fluorescent proteins (Cerulean in NRPs, eGFP in RGCs and mCherry in PRs) without disrupting the function of the endogenous alleles. Organoids produced from the PGP1 line also expressed transcripts consistent with the development of all major retinal cell types, which offers a powerful new tool to study retinal development, retinal reprogramming, and therapeutic drug screening.

 

5:30pm- Managing distraction: How male courtship displays attract and retain female visual attention in a jumping spider
Nathan I. Morehouse, Sebastian A. Echeverri, Maggie Bruce, Skye Long, Elizabeth Jakob and Daniel B. Zurek

University of Cincinnati (nathan.morehouse@uc.edu)

Abstract:

Do male courtship displays specifically evolve to capture and retain female attention? We investigated this question in the jumping spider Habronattus pyrrithrix using live interactions, video playback, and eyetracking studies. We find that some male display traits serve to capture female visual interest, whereas others play a role in maintaining or manipulating female gaze, suggesting that female attention may be an essential selective force shaping male display characteristics.

 

5:40pm- Neonatal cochlear damage affects responses of the auditory midbrain to intracochlear electrical stimulation
Huiming Zhang

University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada) (hzhang@uwindsor.ca)

Abstract:

We wanted to determine how auditory sensory deprivation could cause functional plastic changes in the auditory midbrain. Local-field potentials in response to electrical stimulation of the cochlea were recorded from the auditory midbrain of a young adult rat that had a neonatal cochlear damage caused by systemic applications of an aminoglycoside antibiotic amikacin. We found that neurons in the part of the midbrain responsible for low frequency hearing became more sensitive to cochlear stimulation while neurons in the part of the midbrain responsible for high frequency hearing became less sensitive to cochlear stimulation.

 

5:50pm- Modeling color vision in birds
Trevor Price

University of Chicago (pricet@uchicago.edu)

Abstract:

  1. How much do birds differ in the way they perceive color?
  2. I review the modelling approaches in the light of experimental evidence from birds and humans
  3. Given current understanding the models make reasonable predictions, but many factors not in the model are likely to be involved and need measuring

 

6:00pm- Using sensory information to keep eagles out of wind turbines: (1) the auditory system

Jeffrey Lucas, Benjamin Goller, Patrice Baumhardt, Todd Katzner, Ernesto Dominguez, Peach VanWick and Esteban Fernandez-Juricic

Purdue University (jlucas@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

One potential technique that could be used to reduce collision rates between eagles and wind turbines is to identify alerting stimuli that make the turbine itself a more salient stimulus to the birds.  As part of a larger project, we have recently begun to collect data on the auditory physiology of eagles with an eye to finding stimuli that are maximally alerting and that are minimally influenced by noise masking.  We review preliminary results on bald eagles and offer some insight into what types of auditory stimuli might be useful in reducing death rates of eagles in a world where wind energy is becoming a more important source of energy for an ever-growing human population.

Poster Presentations

1. Investigating the Role of Temporal Fine Structure in Everyday Hearing

Agudemu Borjigan and Hari Bharadwaj

Purdue University (aagudemu@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

This study investigated the importance of temporal fine structure (TFS) in listening in noisy environments. TFS sensitivity was measured from normal-hearing listeners through both behavior and electro-physiological approaches. We observed large individual differences across subjects in frequency modulation (FM) and interaural time difference (ITD) detection thresholds, suggesting the contribution of TFS coding to the variations in spatial hearing, which is one of the key aspects of masking release from noise.

 

2. Motley Views: investigating the importance of receiver vantage point in shaping the appearance of a myrmecomorph spider
Alexis N. Dodson, David Outomuro, Ana Wiatr and Nathan I. Morehouse

University of Cincinnati (dodsonas@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

Are animal appearances tailored to vantage point based on selective pressures from receivers with varying sensory capabilities and perspectives?  To investigate this we analyzed the color and shape of the ant mimic jumping spider, Synemosyna formica, from dorsal and lateral perspectives. Our results indicate that animal appearance is shaped by differing selective forces based on viewer vantage point.

 

3. Visual fields and retinal morphology of Bald and Golden eagles

Benjamin Goller, Patrice E. Baumhardt, Todd Katzner, Jeff Lucas, and Esteban Fernández-Juricic

Purdue University (gollerb@purdue.edu)

 

4. If the world were so bright: examining the effects of artificial light at night on behavior

Kelly Jackson and Paul Moore

Bowling Green State University (kelmjac@bgsu.edu)

Abstract:

We investigated how intensity and wavelength of artificial lighting at night (ALAN) had an impact on the social behavior within two different aquatic invertebrates, the virile crayfish (Faxonius virilis) and rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus). Data was collected for ten weeks at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) in Pellston, MI and number of interactions among crayfish was analyzed. High intensities of light, as well as the addition of ultraviolet light, decreased the number of engagements, yielding further exploration as to how this keystone species and the health of aquatic ecosystems is impacted by ALAN.

 

5. Moving Up: A Gravity Sensation Assay of Danaus plexippus (Monarch Butterflies)
Mitchell Kendzel and Patrick Guerra

University of Cincinnati (kendzemj@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

Can monarch butterflies sense gravity? To test this, I modified a well developed gravity sensing assay used on fruit flies. I found that monarchs can sense gravity and exhibit negative geotaxic behavior

 

6. A critical evaluation of TRPA1-mediated locomotor behavior in zebrafish as a screening tool for novel analgesic drug discovery
MeeJung Ko, Logan Ganzen, Emre Coskun,Yuk Fai Leung and Richard van Rijn

Purdue University (ko59@purdue.edu)

  1. Goal: To develop a novel animal model of pain, we evaluated the strengths and limitations of using a calcium channel (TRPA1)-mediated hyperlocomotion in zebrafish as a potential preclinical screening tool for drug discovery.
  2. Methods: We used FLIPR®-based calcium assay to record calcium influx, and we measured swimming behavior of zebrafish larvae following TRPA1 activation using a ViewPoint Zebrabox.
  3. Conclusion: TRPA1 agonists and antagonists respectively activated or blocked TRPA1 channel activity in HEK293 cells, and respectively increased or decreased locomotive behavior in zebrafish larvae, and thus our findings validate that the zebrafish larvae can act as an in vivo model to investigate TRPA1-targeted drugs for chronic pain disorder.

 

7. Acoustic baits reveal non-random community network structure in frog-biting midges (Diptera: Corethrellidae) and their frog hosts
Gunnar Mikalsen Kvifte, Brian C. Leavell and Ximena E. Bernal

Purdue University (gkvifte@purdue.edu)
Abstract:

Frog-biting midges (Diptera, Corethrellidae) feed on blood from frogs which they locate based on eavesdropping of calls, but it is not known how or even if specific individual midge species differ in their call preferences. We sampled midges over two months in suction traps baited with calls from 12 different frog species, compared the midge species compositions of these traps with simulated data assuming no preferences, and then investigated the resulting interaction web using network analysis and phylogenetic comparisons with null models. Preliminary results suggest that 1) although specialization scores are overall low, the midges are still significantly (p=0.03) more specialized than expected at random, and 2) frog call preferences were in most cases highly phylogenetically overdispersed, suggesting competitive avoidance as an important selective factor in midge evolution.

 

8. Good vibrations: Female response to signal components in Schizocosa wolf spiders

Madeline M. Lallo and George W. Uetz

University of Cincinnati (lallomm@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

If courtship of male wolf spiders involves complex vibratory signals containing information on species identity and male condition, what role do individual signal components play? We compared receptivity responses of female Schizocosa ocreata and S. rovneri wolf spiders to individual components (percussion, stridulation) of heterospecific and conspecific male vibratory signals, as well as complete signals (and a white noise control). Results show that females were receptive to individual signal components of conspecific and heterospecific males, but female receptivity varied depending on species.

 

9. Extended electroretinogram (ERG) analysis to probe for genetically induced photoreceptor deficiencies in Drosophila melanogaster
Duc A. Le, Tiffany A. Cook and Elke K. Buschbeck

University of Cincinnati (le2da@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

Electroretinograms (which measure the neuronal response of the retina to light stimuli) from knockdowns of the gliogenic transcription factor dPax2 in Drosophila melanogaster’s Semper cells – glial cells that reside adjacent to the photoreceptors – showed no deficiency in the strengths of individual photoreceptor responses, even though histologic analysis revealed highly disrupted eye morphology in such flies. To test for additional properties of photoreceptor functioning, we developed two additional extensive light stimulation protocols: the “flicker fusion frequency” test, which determined the frequency of flickering light pulses that the photoreceptors instead responded to as one prolonged pulse, and the “extended sequence” test, which multiple repetitions of light pulses were presented over several minutes to evaluate if photoreceptors were able to sustain consistent responses. Using these protocols, we revealed that Semper-cell knockdowns of dPax2 showed a significant weakening of responses to later-presented light stimuli in the “extended sequence” protocol, suggesting that photoreceptors in these knockdowns may not be able to maintain efficient energy supply from their associated Semper cells, and hence proper dPax2 function also appears to play a role in homeostatic support for the photoreceptors.

 

10. The evolution of plumage sexual dichromatism in a globally-distributed avian genus, the true thrushes
Alec Luro and Mark Hauber

University of Illinois (alec.b.luro@gmail.com)

Abstract:

What explains the diversity of plumage colors and patterns in birds, both within and between species, and across sexes and ages? I used avian visual modelling to examine the degree and diversity of sexual dichromatism in feather color among the True thrushes, the diverse genus of the American robin (Turdus migratorius) and its globally-distributed allies. I found multiple cases of convergent evolution of highly sexually-dichromatic plumage within the Turdus genus; future work will examine potential ecological and life-history correlates that may underlie the evolution of convergent plumage colors, patterns, and levels of sexual dichromatism.

 

11. Vehicle speed differentially impacts anuran vocal response to traffic noise
Ryan Madden, Henry Legett and Ximena Bernal

Purdue University (ryanmadden94@outlook.com)

Abstract:

How does variation in traffic noise affect animal communication and behavior? We conduct field playback experiments to investigate the effects that changing one property of traffic, vehicle speed, has on the mating vocalizations of a Japanese stream breeding tree frog (Buergeria japonica). Our results suggest that, by limiting vehicle speed, the effects of traffic noise on signaling animals can be minimized.

 

12. Evolution of Color Vision via Adaptive Landscapes
David Morris, David Outomuro and Nathan Morehouse

University of Cincinnati (morri2dd@mail.uc.edu)

Abstract:

We were interested in how different ecological stimuli impact the evolution of visual systems. We used receptor noise limited models to permute peak receptivity of photoreceptors in a dichromatic visual system, thereby creating discrimination landscapes that describe which visual system parameters are best suited to particular stimuli. Comparing landscapes has shown that certain topographical features are consistent across stimuli, indicating that certain combinations of visual system sensitivities will be consistently advantaged independent of stimuli.

 

13. Can fish see the bait on the hook? Exploring the visual ecology of Lake Erie fishes.
Chelsey Nieman, A.L. Oppliger and S.M. Gray

The Ohio State University (nieman.36@osu.edu)

Abstract:

Globally increasing anthropogenic turbidity is likely to disrupt visual abilities in fishes; however, not all turbidity types are expected to equally disrupt vision (e.g. green algae vs. brown sediments). Using a suite of physiological methods, we are investigating the effects of increased algal and sedimentary turbidity on the visual ecology of Lake Erie fishes. Our findings suggest that algal turbidity has a much larger negative impact on visual processes (e.g. detecting prey), compared to sedimentary turbidity, with potential consequences for community-level shifts in Lake Erie.

 

14. The evolution of color vision across jumping spiders
David Outomuro, Daniel B. Zurek, Lisa A. Taylor, Thomas W. Cronin, Bhavya Dharmaraaj, Krushnamegh Kunte and Nathan I. Morehouse

University of Cincinnati (outomuro.david@gmail.com)

Abstract:

1- Our goal is to investigate the evolution of color vision across jumping species, as a model for understanding the diversification of visual systems.

2- We estimated the number and peak sensitivities of photoreceptor types in the principal eyes of jumping spiders using microspectrophotometry.

3- We found at least five independent transitions from di- to tri- and tetrachromacy, making jumping spiders a promising group for the study of these transitions in terrestrial habitats.

 

15. Pten Deletion Rescues Fiber Cell Differentiation Defects in FGFR-Deleted Lens Epithelial Explants
Stephanie Padula, Elaine Sidler, Brad Wagner and Michael L. Robinson

Miami University (padulasl@miamioh.edu)

Abstract:

We sought to determine if deleting a gene called Pten could restore normal ocular lens development in mice lacking Fibroblast growth factor receptor (Fgfr) genes. To test this, we cultured lens epithelial cells, deleted the Fgfr1-3 genes, the Pten gene, or both, and added bovine vitreous to mimic a natural lens environment; then analyzed the cells for cell death, cell proliferation, and lens fiber cell differentiation. We found that lens epithelial cells lacking Fgfr1-3 exhibit abnormal proliferation and fiber cell differentiation, but simultaneous Pten deletion restored those cell’s ability to differentiate into fiber cells, furthering our understanding of the interaction of FGFRs and PTEN in lens development.

 

16. Visual channels encoding luminance remain segregated across multiple stages of neural processing
Estuardo Robles, Nicholas P. Fields and Herwig Baier

Purdue University (roblese@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

1-The aim of this study was to determine if the larval zebrafish retina generates distinct luminance channels for dimming information, and if so whether these signals converge in the brain.

2-Dimming-responsive neurons were identified in the retina, optic tectum, and torus longitudinalis by two-photon imaging of the genetically encoded calcium sensor GCaMP6s during presentation of visual stimuli to awake larvae.

3-We find that the larval retina generates three output channels for dimming information and these remain segregated across three stages of neural processing.

 

17. Sensory mechanisms for localizing spermatophores in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander
Taylor Rupp and Heather Eisthen

Michigan State University (rupptay1@msu.edu)

Abstract:

Salamanders transfer sperm externally using a gelatinous capsule called a spermatophore; our goal was to understand the sensory cues that guide spermatophore localization in female axolotls. To investigate the sources of cues that are potentially important for sperm transfer, we conducted behavioral trials in which female axolotls were either exposed to a spermatophore or paired with a male axolotl. Our results indicate that spermatophores alone do not contain sufficient sensory cues to enable spawning, and that the tactile cues exchanged between male and female axolotls during courtship appear to be important for successful sperm transfer.

 

18. Zika virus tropism in the early developing brain and inner ear of the chicken embryo
Ankita Thawani, Nabilah H. Sammudin, Hannah Raygaerts, Devika Sirohi, Vidhya Munnamalai, Richard J. Kuhn and Donna M. Fekete

Purdue University (nchesamm@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

Congenital Zika Syndrome is a disorder caused when the infected pregnant mother transmits the virus to the gestating fetus, resulting in microcephaly, brain defects, retinopathy and sensorineural hearing loss. We are studying the spatio-temporal susceptibility of CNS and inner ear to Zika pathogenesis during early stages of development in the accessible chicken embryonic model by virus injection at certain timepoints and histological evaluation. We have found hot-spots of infection in specific brain regions associated with morphogen secretion as well as patterns of infection in both sensory and non-sensory cells of the developing inner ear.

 

19. Auditory Temporal Coding Quantified with Minimally-Invasive Mass-Potential Recordings
Mark Sayles, Shulan Xiao, Yun Wen Chu and Ravinderjit Singh

Purdue University (saylesm@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

We aimed to quantify temporal coding of sounds in the chinchilla auditory nerve using minimally-invasive techniques which can be readily translated to humans for clinical diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring purposes. Using a forward-masking technique to exploit neural adaptation, we isolated ongoing “neurophonic” mass-potential signals at the cochlear round window (reflecting auditory-nerve synchronous spiking) in response to temporal fine structure (TFS) and temporal envelope (ENV) fluctuations, as a function of frequency. Estimates of TFS and ENV coding derived from forward-masked mass potentials in normal-hearing chinchillas are similar to those obtained from single-unit spike-based estimates in the chinchilla auditory nerve, and offer the chance to translate such measures of neural coding into clinical audiological tools.

 

20. Neural sensitivity to Dynamic Binaural Cues: human EEG and chinchilla single-unit responses
Ravinderjit Singh, Hari Bharadwaj and Mark Sayles

Purdue University (singh415@purdue.edu)

Abstract:

Our goal is to characterize neural sensitivity to dynamic binaural timing information in broadband sounds. We use a systems-identification technique utilizing maximum length sequences to modulate binaural timing information and record neural responses in auditory nerve fibers (ANFs) in terminally anesthetized chinchillas and human cortical responses via electroencephalogram (EEG). In conclusion, we found a broadband system-identification technique to be useful for characterizing neural sensitivity to dynamic binaural information and found brainstem responses simulated from ANFs to show a low pass characteristic with corner frequencies in the rage of several hundreds of Hz while EEG transfer functions were also low-pass with corner frequencies in the tens of Hz.

 

21. Is shyness strength? Dynamic exposure effects on individual personality
Alexandra N. Steele and Paul A. Moore

Bowling Green State University (ansteel@bgsu.edu)

Abstract:

This research examines the effects of dynamic exposure to aquatic contaminants by going beyond average population responses and investigating changes to individual variation (i.e. bold-shy personalities) due to altered sensory sensitivity in polluted environments. F. virilis crayfish were subject to dynamic atrazine exposure for 48 hours and tested for anti-predator response both before and following exposure with an olfactory-mediated behavioral assay. Individuals classified as bold showed increased sensitivity to predatory odor relative to shy animals, as bold exhibited decreased activity after exposure where no change was presented in shy individuals.

 

22. Sensory Constraints on Individual Recognition and Inter-Individual Spacing
Rebecca Trapp and Esteban Fernández-Juricic

Purdue University (rtrapp@purdue.edu)

 

23. Modeling Dynamic Chemical Distributions in Artificial Stream Systems
Kristi K. Weighman and Paul A. Moore

Bowling Green State University (kkweigh@bgsu.edu)

Abstract:

This research examines how hydrodynamics influence the exposure of aquatic organisms to compounds flowing through a stream, be they odor plumes or anthropogenic toxicants. Concentrations of a tracer molecule throughout an artificial stream were recorded, and these recordings were used to create maps of concentration peak characteristics. These maps can be utilized to compare patterning of chemical exposure in streams of different flow velocities, taking both mode of chemical cue introduction (groundwater or runoff) and organism position in the water column (benthic, mid-water column, or surface) into consideration.

 

24. How do cichlids “see” a changing world?
Bethany L. Williams, Tiffany L. Atkinson, Richard C. Oldham, Taylor K. Hrabak, Lauren M. Pintor and Suzanne M. Gray
The Ohio State University (williams.4234@osu.edu)

Abstract:

This research aims to determine the key drivers and functional significance of sensory and behavioral trait divergence in an African cichlid facing human-induced rapid environmental change. We have used field studies and laboratory rearing experiments to determine if divergent traits confer a fitness advantage to fish in their home environment, using populations found across extreme environmental gradients. This research is critical because understanding when phenotypic change is adaptive and promotes population persistence or is maladaptive and leads to population decline will enable us to predict the population-level consequences of rapid and severe human-induced change.