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Machens, Christian K.; Schütze, Hartmut; Franz, Astrid; Kolesnikova, Olga; Stemmler, Martin B. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9040-0475; Ronacher, Bernhard and Herz, Andreas V. M. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3836-565X (2003): Single auditory neurons rapidly discriminate conspecific communication signals. In: Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 6: p. 342

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Animals that rely on acoustic communication to find mates, such as grasshoppers, are astonishingly accurate in recognizing song patterns that are specific to their own species1,2. This raises the question of whether they can also solve a far more complicated task that might provide a basis for mate preference and sexual selection: to distinguish individual songs by detecting slight variations around the common species-specific theme. Using spike-train discriminability to quantify the precision of neural responses from the auditory periphery of a model grasshopper species, we show that information sufficient to distinguish songs is readily available at the single-cell level when the spike trains are analyzed on a millisecond time scale.

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