Comparative Bioacoustics: An Overview

Acoustic Preference Methods: Assessing Mates

Author(s): Katharina Riebel

Pp: 253-301 (49)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681083179117010009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


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.

Keywords: Acoustic mating preferences, Acoustic mating signals, Acoustic preference testing, Internal & external validity, Operant preference tests.

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