Acoustic communication in flies is based on the production and perception of courtship song. Drosophila males sing to females during the courtship ritual, while females listen for the correct species-specific song parameters before deciding to mate. While we know that song is important for mating, the neural mechanisms involved in song recognition remain mysterious. However, the last few years have seen major advances in our understanding of the auditory system of Drosophila, including delineation of the neurons involved in song production, detailed characterization of the auditory receptor organ, and mapping of auditory projections into the brain. The stage is being set to tackle the auditory system of Drosophila in much the same way as has been done for its olfactory system. This review covers recent work and discusses prospects for future research on Drosophila audition.
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