My proposed research will examine novel, complex calls and the rules for their enhanced attractiveness. In Hyla chrysoscelis and H. versicolor there is a strong temporal-order effect, in which compound calls are more attractive only if the novel element follows an advertisement call. One of my proposed projects will examine the mechanisms that are responsible for this temporal-order rule. Specifically, I will look at interval-counting neurons to see whether or not these neurons are produce a priming effect that enhances the attractiveness of complex calls.
In addition, I may also examine differences between populations of H. chrysoscelis. Besides morphological differences, there may be differences in female preference for carrier-frequency. When females were presented with calls that contain only one of the two carrier frequencies found in typical advertisement calls, most populations had no preference while H. chrysoscelis from Minnesota preferred the high-frequency calls. I may examine this frequency preference in depth and look for other differences between populations.