Opendata, web and dolomites


Perception of signals under varying conditions: implications of proportional processing of signal magnitude for signal design

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CATPERCCOL project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the CATPERCCOL project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "CATPERCCOL" about.

evolution    follows    expertise    forefront    individuals    reflecting    humans    combining    exeter    proportional    receiver    sword    taxa    host    modalities    data    proportionally    modal    length    collaborative    mechanism    differ    vary    animal    xiphophorus    species    readily    interact    perceived    green    mate    relationship    perceive    males    behaviours    discriminate    swordtails    manipulating    differs    viewer    dimorphism    acuities    human    color    indicate    swords    assume    career    bars    mechanisms    magnitude    kelley    amount    females    tests    compare    perception    tested    organisation    swordtail    auditory    signaling    examine    exhibits    encounters    irrelevant    shown    law    signaler    male    shows    maculatus    70mm    variety    circles    helleri    opening    extended    dr    models    stimuli    vision    training    behavior    agonistic    signal    fin    perceptual    stimulus    ranges    environmental    first    interactions    signals    variation    generality    weber    certain    visual    discontinuous    concomitant    invaluable    acoustic    nature    environment    spans    trait    implicitly    primates    quality    insights    discontinuously    sexual    operate    female    caudal   

Project "CATPERCCOL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: EXETER
postcode: EX4 4QJ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-08-15   to  2021-08-14


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UK (EXETER) coordinator 183˙454.00


 Project objective

Individuals evaluate one another during interactions using assessment signals that indicate quality, and these signals vary across individuals, reflecting variation in signaler quality. For example, green swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri) females assess the length of an extended caudal fin (known as a sword) on males, which ranges in length from 10-70mm in nature, during mate choice, and males evaluate one another’s swords during agonistic encounters. Models of signal evolution implicitly assume that signals are perceived continuously, meaning that each change in signal magnitude is both perceived by the receiver and results in a concomitant change in receiver response. Increasing evidence, however, shows that signals across modalities, from acoustic signals to color-based visual signals, can be perceived discontinuously. One mechanism by which stimuli can be perceived discontinuously is called proportional processing, which follows Weber’s law. Under proportional processing, a viewer can more readily discriminate between two stimuli that differ by a certain amount when both of those stimuli are of low magnitude, compared with two stimuli that differ by the same amount but are both high magnitude. Although proportional processing has been shown to operate across a variety of taxa and modalities, no study has yet tested for proportional processing of a visual signal. This project will (1) test whether signal magnitude, i.e. male sword length, is perceived continuously or proportionally by female and male swordtails; (2) assess how perception of stimulus magnitude is affected by variation in environmental conditions, by manipulating both the visual and auditory environment; (3) compare perception of signal-relevant (bars) and signal-irrelevant (circles) stimuli, between a swordtail species that exhibits sexual dimorphism in sword length (X. helleri) with one that does not (X. maculatus), to examine the evolution of perceptual processes; and (4) compare perception of the signal magnitude in swordtails with existing data on length perception in a variety of taxa (including humans), to examine the generality of proportional processing of length across species, and how perception differs between species with very different visual acuities (ability to perceive detail) and signaling behaviours. This project will be the first to examine proportional processing of a visual signaling trait in any non-human animal and will provide the first tests of how viewing conditions and multi-modal stimuli impact perception of signal magnitude in non-primates. By combining my expertise in different mechanisms of discontinuous perception with the expertise of Dr Kelley at Exeter, which spans animal behavior, acoustic signaling, and perceptual processing, we will (1) provide novel insights into the relationship between signal design, behaviour, and environment, (2) increase our understanding of how vision and higher-level perceptual processes interact in the perceptual organisation of stimuli, and (3) provide invaluable training in managing a large project at the forefront of perception research, thus opening a host of career and collaborative opportunities.

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The information about "CATPERCCOL" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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