Methods in Insect Sensory Neuroscience: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Methods in Insect Sensory Neuroscience

1st Edition

Edited by Thomas A. Christensen

CRC Press

464 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 480 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780849320248
pub: 2004-12-20
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Insects are among the most diverse and adaptable organisms on Earth. They have long been our chief competitors for food and are responsible for spreading devastating afflictions such as malaria and encephalitis. The insects’ ability to thrive is due in large part to their well-developed sensory systems, which present a host of novel physiological, biochemical, and behavioral attributes that underlie their remarkable feats of sensory performance.

Methods in Insect Neuroscience is the first text to showcase the tremendous variety of methods that are available to study the sensory capabilities of insects. It covers the complete spectrum of sensory modalities in insects, from vision and audition, to chemoreception and multimodal processing. The book is designed to serve as a how to guide for putting into practice a wide range of techniques, including behavioral observation, brain imaging, single- and multi-unit electrophysiology, computer modeling/signal processing, and robotics to address innumerable questions.

A truly multidisciplinary synthesis of neurobiological, behavioral, and computational approaches to sensory-information processing is most likely to yield our richest understanding of the mechanisms that underlie sensation and perception. In that spirit, this book contains chapters by leading neuroethologists, comparative biologists, neuroscientists, computational biologists, geneticists, and bioengineers who have adopted insects as their models. Their hard work and dedication is evident in the quality of detail contained in every chapter.

This book is intended for seasoned neuroscientists looking for state-of-the-art information, as well as discussions on the open-ended questions facing sensory neuroscience today. It is also intended as a primer for newcomers utilizing insects to embark on a study of sensory mechanisms.The opening section provides background information and references about the basic organization of the insect brain and the behavioral strategies used by insects to navigate their complex and varied environments. The latter sections are designed to provide more detailed information about specific sensory modalities and the tools that are used to study them.


“…provides a current perspective on each topic along with a ready starting point for anyone interested in duplicating particular techniques or applying them to other systems.”

The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 82, No. 1, March 2007

“Contributing authors, all prominent scientists within their fields, provided generously not only thorough descriptions of the respective methods, but also important methodological ‘tricks’ and ‘tips’, which seldom appear in mainstream publications.”

European Journal of Entomology

Table of Contents

Introduction: Multimodal Signal Integration and Behavior

Multisensory Processing in the Insect Brain, Uwe Homberg

Methods in Insect Sensory Ecology,  Mattias C. Larsson and Glenn P. Svensson

Mechanosensation and Audition

The Chordotonal Organ: A Uniquely Invertebrate Mechanoreceptor , Lawrence H. Field

Mechanosensory Integration for Flight Control in Insects, Mark A. Frye and John R. Gray

Auditory Processing of Acoustic Communication Signals:

Sensory Biophysics, Neural Coding, and Discrimination of

Conspecific Songs, Andreas V.M. Herz, Jan Benda, Tim Gollisch, Christian K. Machens,

Roland Schaette, Hartmut Schütze, and Martin B. Stemmler


Modern Optical Tools for Studying Insect Eyes, Doekele G. Stavenga

Novel Approaches to Visual Information Processing in Insects: Case Studies on

Neuronal Computations in the Blowfly, Martin Egelhaaf, Jan Grewe, Katja Karmeier, Roland Kern, Rafael Kurtz, and Anne-Kathrin Warzecha

Bioinspired Sensors: From Insect Eyes to Robot Vision. F. Claire Rind

Molecular Characterization of Chemosensory Systems

Analysis of Taste Receptors in Drosophila, Jennifer J. Perry, Anupama Dahanukar, and John R. Carlson

Combining Molecular, Physiological, and Behavioral Tools to Study

Insect Olfactory Processing, Alan J. Nighorn and Lawrence J. Zwiebel

Population Analysis of Sensory Systems

Taste Processing in the Insect Nervous System, Philip L. Newland

Insect Olfactory Neuroethology — An Electrophysiological Perspective, Rickard Ignell and Bill Hansson

Optical Methods for Analyzing Odor-Evoked Activity in the

Insect Brain. C. Giovanni Galizia and Richard S. Vetter

A Primer on Multichannel Neural Ensemble Recording in Insects. Vincent M. Pawlowski, Thomas A. Christensen, Hong Lei, and John G. Hildebrand



About the Series

Frontiers in Neuroscience

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / Entomology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Neuroscience