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Publication - Professor Daniel Robert

    Modelling the Active Hearing Process in Mosquitoes


    Avitabile, D, Homer, M, Jackson, J, Robert, D & Champneys, A, 2011, ‘Modelling the Active Hearing Process in Mosquitoes’. in: Christopher A Shera, Elizabeth S Olson (eds) What Fire is in Mine Ears: Progress in Auditory Biomechanics. American Institute of Physics (AIP), pp. 447 - 452


    A simple microscopic mechanistic model is described of the active amplification within the Johnston's organ of the mosquito species Toxorhynchites brevipalpis. The model is based on the description of the antenna as a forced-damped oscillator coupled to a set of active threads (ensembles of scolopidia) that provide an impulsive force when they twitch. This twitching is in turn controlled by channels that are opened and closed if the antennal oscillation reaches a critical amplitude. The model matches both qualitatively and quantitatively with recent experiments. New results are presented using mathematical homogenization techniques to derive a mesoscopic model as a simple oscillator with nonlinear force and damping characteristics. It is shown how the results from this new model closely resemble those from the microscopic model as the number of threads approach physiologically correct values.

    Full details in the University publications repository