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Central Mechanisms of Frog Calling

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Release calling and warning crying in Rana pipiens are described and compared with breathing. Vokalizations consist of a vocal phase, which is merely a modification of the expiratory phase of breathing, followed by an inspiratory phase, which is identical to inspiratory phase of breathing. Electrical and mechanical stimulation of the brain and brain lesions are used to locate some of the central mechanisms controlling release calling and warning crying in Rana pipiens, and mating calling in Rana pipiens and a number of hylids (mainly Hyla cinerea). It is concluded that the main control mechanisms are in the trigeminoisthmic tegmentum (below the nucleus isthmi). Mating calling requires, in addition, input transmitted through the ventral thalamus from hormone receptors in the preoptic area. Mating calling can be evoked in hylids by presenting them with recordings of specific calls. The mechanisms for responding to an acoustic stimulus are probably located in the anterior medulla and midbrain tegmentum (below the nucleus isthmi). Mating calling was evoked in two Hyla cinerea females after replacing the ovaries with Rana testes and injecting Rana pituitaries. It is suggested that release calling evolved from breathing, and that warning crying and mating calling may then have evolved from release calling.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for the Study of Mind, Drugs, and Behavior, Stritch School of Medicine, Hines, . 60141, U.S.A.


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