Mate choice in túngara frogs
The túngara frog is an influential model for understanding the evolution of mating signals, making it an excellent system for studying the neural mechanisms of mate choice in an evolutionary context. We combine neural activity markers, hormone manipulation, and molecular neurobiology to investigate the neural mechanisms of mate choice in túngara frogs.
Our work elucidated the patterns of neural activity characteristic of receptive females hearing attractive mating calls. We found that estradiol promoted neural responses to mating calls in a brain region called the preoptic area, suggesting that the preoptic area contributes to mating preferences and may be important in the evolution of mate choice.