Acoustic Preference Methods: Assessing Mates
Pp. 253-301 (49)
Acoustic mating signals play an important role as mate attracting signals in
many vertebrate and invertebrate species. Often, individuals within one population vary
in the quantity and quality of their signaling effort. To test whether a signal indeed
functions in mate attraction and whether variation in the signal influences this process,
preference tests have been established as important research tools. This chapter reviews
and explains contemporary methodology for acoustic preference testing. Special
attention is given to general conceptual issues, experimental design, potential (but
avoidable) experimental confounds and good testing practices.
Acoustic mating preferences, Acoustic mating signals, Acoustic
preference testing, Internal & external validity, Operant preference tests.
Institute of Biology (IBL), Leiden University, Nl-2333BE Leiden, The Netherlands.