Editorial to the topical collection “From sensory perception to behavior”

  • Theo C. M. BakkerEmail author
  • Horst Bleckmann
  • Joachim Mogdans
  • Vera Schluessel
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. From sensory perception to behavior

The Topical Collection From sensory perception to behavior is based on a selection of presentations that were given on a Topical Meeting with the same name of the Ethological Society in Bonn, February 22–24, 2017. The local organization committee of the meeting was made up by Gerhard von der Emde, Theo Bakker, Horst Bleckmann, Ulrike Hanslik, Michael Hofmann, Joachim Mogdans, Ingolf Rick, Vera Schluessel, Anke Schmitz, and Helmut Schmitz.

From sensory perception to behavior covers the key processes that connect the environment to the individual and the individual back to the environment. Behavior needs sensory perception and information processing and in turn, feeds back on these processes. Complex social behaviors of animals are striking examples for this interaction, when the behavior of one animal constitutes the sensory input of another one.

The Topical Collection comprises 10 contributions with a wide range of topics that study the effects of sensory input from the visual (Corral-López et al. 2017; Cummings 2018; Schluessel et al. 2018), auditory (Wöhr 2018), and olfactory (Vallon and Heubel 2017; Eccard et al. 2018) systems, as well as proprioception (Dürr et al. 2018) and input from social behavior (Gierszewski et al. 2018; Tanaka et al. 2018a, b) on various behaviors in diverse organisms. Neurophysiological aspects are integrated in the studies of Corral-López et al. (2017) on visual acuity in guppies (Poecilia reticulata), of Cummings (2018) on sexual conflict in poeciliid fishes and of Dürr et al. (2018) on limb coordination in insects. Cognitive processes as a link between sensory input and behavior are addressed in the studies of Cummings (2018) on poeciliid fishes, of Eccard et al. (2018) on bank voles Myodes glareolus, of Gierszewski et al. (2018) on sailfin mollies Poecilia latipinna, and of Schluessel et al. (2018) on Malawi cichlids Pseudotropheus zebra. The papers of Dürr et al. (2018) and Wöhr (2018) focus rather on sensory input for generating behavior in insects and rats Rattus norvegicus, respectively.

Progress will be expected from studies that integrate the different levels in which sensory information shapes behavior: from sensory perception via information processing to the evolutionary context. We hope that the rich bouquet of papers of this Topical Collection will stimulate further research and integration of (neuro)physiology and behavioral ecology.


Funding information

The authors received and acknowledge financial support from the Ethological Society, the DFG (German Science Foundation) and Leopoldina (German National Academy of Sciences) for the organization of the meeting.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Corral-López A, Garate-Olaizola M, Buechel SD, Kolm N, Kotrschal A (2017) On the role of body size, brain size, and eye size in visual acuity. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 71:179CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Cummings M (2018) Sexual conflict and sexually dimorphic cognition — reviewing their relationship in poeciliid fishes. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dürr V, Theunissen LM, Dallmann CJ, Hoinville T, Schmitz J (2018) Motor flexibility in insects: adaptive coordination of limbs in locomotion and near-range exploration. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eccard JA, Reil D, Folkersma R, Schirmer A (2018) The scent of infanticide risk? Behavioural allocation to current and future reproduction in response to mating opportunity and familiarity with intruder. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:175CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Gierszewski S, Keil M, Witte K (2018) Mate-choice copying in sailfin molly females: public information use from long-distance interactions. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Schluessel V, Hiller J, Krüger M (2018) Discrimination of movement and visual transfer abilities in cichlids (Pseudotropheus zebra). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Tanaka H, Frommen JG, Kohda M (2018a) Helpers increase food abundance in the territory of a cooperatively breeding fish. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Tanaka H, Kohda M, Frommen JG (2018b) Helpers increase the reproductive success of breeders in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus obscures. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Vallon M, Heubel KU (2017) Egg density and salinity influence filial cannibalism in common gobies. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 71:159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Wöhr M (2018) Ultrasonic communication in rats: appetitive 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations as social contact calls. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:14CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theo C. M. Bakker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Horst Bleckmann
    • 2
  • Joachim Mogdans
    • 2
  • Vera Schluessel
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Evolutionary Biology and EcologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Institute of ZoologyRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University BonnBonnGermany

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