S9-11 Wed Jan 6 18:00 – 18:30 Social communication across reproductive boundaries: hormones and the auditory periphery Gall, MD*; Baugh, AT; Lucas, JR; Bee, MA; Vassar College; Swarthmore College; Purdue University; University of Minnesota firstname.lastname@example.org https://pages.vassar.edu/sensoryecology/
Most animals experience reproductive transitions in their lives; for instance, reaching reproductive maturity or cycling in and out of breeding condition. Some reproductive transitions are abrupt, while others are more gradual. In most cases, changes in communication between the sexes follows the time course of these reproductive transitions and is typically thought to be coordinated by steroid hormones. We know a great deal about hormonal control of communication behaviors in birds and frogs, as well as the central neural control of these behaviors, as there have been foundational studies in hormones and behavior, as well as neuroethology. There has also been a significant interest in the effects of steroid hormones on central nervous system structures that control both the production and reception of communication signals associated with reproductive behaviors. However, peripheral sensory structures have typically received less attention, although there has been growing interest in recent years. It is becoming clear that the function of peripheral sensory structures plays an important role in reproductive communication, is plastic across reproductive conditions, and, in some cases, may be mediated by steroid hormones. In this talk, I will discuss our current understanding of the role of peripheral auditory structures in reproductive communication in birds and frogs, the plasticity of the peripheral auditory system, and the role of steroid hormones in mediating the effects of the peripheral auditory system on reproductive communication.