Dr Berthold Hedwig

Berthold Hedwig

University position


Dr Berthold Hedwig is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Zoology



Home page

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/zoostaf... (personal home page)

Research Themes

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience


I analyse the neural mechanisms underlying acoustic communication in insects which use species-specific sounds for mate attraction. I use behavioural, neurophysiological and optical imaging techniques with the aim to understand:

1. The neural mechanisms generating the motor patterns underlying sound production, e.g. which brain neurons control the behaviour? Which changes in the nervous systems of different species lead to the expression of species-specific motor patterns?

2. Processing of auditory signals in the central and peripheral nervous system. Which cellular and network properties establish the recognition of species-specific sound patterns?

3. Ca2+ dynamics in auditory and motor pathways: Imaging Ca2+ changes in identified neurons indicate how changes in cytosolic calcium levels contribute to auditory processing or motor pattern generation?

As an advantage of the insect nervous system, we can record and study identified neurons in semi-intact, behaving animals.

Intracellular staining of a locust motoneuron
Intracellular staining of a locust motoneuron
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus


identified neurons

auditory processing

calcium imaging

trackball recordings

neural circuit

Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance


Behavioural analysis

Calcium imaging

Computational modelling

Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Intracellular recording



United Kingdom

Barbara Webb Web: http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/bwebb/


Heiner Roemer Web: http://www.uni-graz.at/

Associated News Items

Key publications

Hedwig B (2016), “ Sequential Filtering Processes Shape Feature Detection in Crickets: A Framework for Song Pattern Recognition” Frontiers doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00046

ter Hofstede HM, Schöneich S, Robillard T, Hedwig B (2015), “Evolution of a Communication System by Sensory Exploitation of Startle Behavior” Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.10.064

Kostarakos K, Hedwig B (2012), “Calling song recognition in female crickets: temporal tuning of identified brain neurons matches behavior.” J Neurosci 32(28):9601-12 Details

Schöneich S, Hedwig B (2012), “Cellular basis for singing motor pattern generation in the field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus DeGeer).” Brain Behav 2(6):707-25 Details

Baden T, Hedwig B (2010), “Primary afferent depolarization and frequency processing in auditory afferents.” J Neurosci 30(44):14862-9 Details

Schöneich S, Hedwig B (2010), “Hyperacute Directional Hearing and Phonotactic Steering in the Cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus deGeer).” PLoS One 5(12):e15141 Details

Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2002), “A corollary discharge maintains auditory sensitivity during sound production.” Nature 418(6900):872-6 Details

Hedwig B (2000), “Control of cricket stridulation by a command neuron: efficacy depends on the behavioral state.” J Neurophysiol 83(2):712-22 Details

Hedwig B (1994), “A cephalothoracic command system controls stridulation in the acridid grasshopper Omocestus viridulus L.” J Neurophysiol 72(4):2015-25 Details



Seagraves KM, Hedwig B (2014), “Phase shifts in binaural stimuli provide directional cues for sound localisation in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus.” J Exp Biol 217(Pt 13):2390-8 Details


Zorović M, Hedwig B (2013), “Descending brain neurons in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (de Geer): auditory responses and impact on walking.” J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol 199(1):25-34 Details


Busch KE, Laurent P, Soltesz Z, Murphy RJ, Faivre O, Hedwig B, Thomas M, Smith HL, de Bono M (2012), “Tonic signaling from O₂ sensors sets neural circuit activity and behavioral state.” Nat Neurosci 15(4):581-91 Details

Fabre CC, Hedwig B, Conduit G, Lawrence PA, Goodwin SF, Casal J (2012), “Substrate-borne vibratory communication during courtship in Drosophila melanogaster.” Curr Biol 22(22):2180-5 Details


Schöneich S, Hedwig B (2011), “Neural basis of singing in crickets: central pattern generation in abdominal ganglia.” Naturwissenschaften 98(12):1069-73 Details

Witney AG, Hedwig B (2011), “Kinematics of phonotactic steering in the walking cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (de Geer).” J Exp Biol 214(Pt 1):69-79 Details


Baden T, Hedwig B (2009), “Dynamics of free intracellular Ca2+ during synaptic and spike activity of cricket tibial motoneurons.” Eur J Neurosci 29(7):1357-68 Details


Baden T, Hedwig B (2008), “Front leg movements and tibial motoneurons underlying auditory steering in the cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus deGeer).” J Exp Biol 211(Pt 13):2123-33 Details


Baden T, Hedwig B (2007), “Neurite-specific Ca2+ dynamics underlying sound processing in an auditory interneurone.” Dev Neurobiol 67(1):68-80 Details

Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2007), “New insights into corollary discharges mediated by identified neural pathways.” Trends Neurosci 30(1):14-21 Details


Hedwig B (2006), “Pulses, patterns and paths: neurobiology of acoustic behaviour in crickets.” J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol 192(7):677-89 Details

Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2006), “The cellular basis of a corollary discharge.” Science 311(5760):518-22 Details


Hedwig B, Poulet JF (2005), “Mechanisms underlying phonotactic steering in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus revealed with a fast trackball system.” J Exp Biol 208(Pt 5):915-27 Details

Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2005), “Auditory orientation in crickets: pattern recognition controls reactive steering.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102(43):15665-9 Details


Hedwig B, Poulet JF (2004), “Complex auditory behaviour emerges from simple reactive steering.” Nature 430(7001):781-5 Details


Nabatiyan A, Poulet JF, de Polavieja GG, Hedwig B (2003), “Temporal pattern recognition based on instantaneous spike rate coding in a simple auditory system.” J Neurophysiol 90(4):2484-93 Details

Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2003), “Corollary discharge inhibition of ascending auditory neurons in the stridulating cricket.” J Neurosci 23(11):4717-25 Details

Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2003), “A corollary discharge mechanism modulates central auditory processing in singing crickets.” J Neurophysiol 89(3):1528-40 Details


Römer H, Hedwig B, Ott SR (2002), “Contralateral inhibition as a sensory bias: the neural basis for a female preference in a synchronously calling bushcricket, Mecopoda elongata.” Eur J Neurosci 15(10):1655-62 Details


Poulet JF, Hedwig B (2001), “Tympanic membrane oscillations and auditory receptor activity in the stridulating cricket Gryllus bimaculatus.” J Exp Biol 204(Pt 7):1281-93 Details


Hedwig B (2000), “A highly sensitive opto-electronic system for the measurement of movements.” J Neurosci Methods 100(1-2):165-71 Details


Wenzel B, Hedwig B (1999), “Neurochemical control of cricket stridulation revealed by pharmacological microinjections into the brain.” J Exp Biol 202(Pt 16):2203-2216 Details


Heinrich R, Hedwig B, Elsner N (1997), “Cholinergic activation of stridulatory behaviour in the grasshopper Omocestus viridulus (L.)” J Exp Biol 200(Pt 9):1327-37 Details

Knepper M, Hedwig B (1997), “NEUROLAB, a PC-program for the processing of neurobiological data.” Comput Methods Programs Biomed 52(1):75-7 Details


Hedwig B, Burrows M (1996), “Presynaptic inhibition of sensory neurons during kicking movements in the locust.” J Neurophysiol 75(3):1221-32 Details

Ocker W, Hedwig B (1996), “Interneurones involved in stridulatory pattern generation in the grasshopper Chorthippus mollis (Charp.)” J Exp Biol 199(Pt 3):653-62 Details


Meyer J, Hedwig B (1995), “The influence of tracheal pressure changes on the responses of the tympanal membrane and auditory receptors in the locust Locusta migratoria L.” J Exp Biol 198(Pt 6):1327-39 Details

Ocker W, Hedwig B, Elsner N (1995), “Pharmacological induction and modulation of stridulation in two species of acridid grasshoppers” J Exp Biol 198(Pt 8):1701-10 Details


Hedwig B, Knepper M (1992), “NEUROLAB, a comprehensive program for the analysis of neurophysiological and behavioural data.” J Neurosci Methods 45(1-2):135-48 Details

Hedwig B, Knepper M (1992), “Separation of synaptic and spike activity in intracellular recordings for selective analysis.” J Neurosci Methods 42(1-2):83-90 Details