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.