Advances In Comparative Physiology Biochemistry by O. Lowenstein

By O. Lowenstein

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It would be false to give the impression that all workers have found this peak, however. Schleidt (1952), using behavioral responses, and Ishii et al. (1964), re­ cording the CM response, made no mention of such a peak, despite the use of tones up to 100 kHz, and Peacock and Williams (1962) were un­ able to train rats to respond to 40 kHz. But the work of Sewell on ultra­ sound production by rats clearly indicates the adaptive significance of such a peak. She showed that cries of the young fall predominantly in the 30-75 kHz frequency range (Sewell, 1969) and that during aggressive behavior by adults many sounds of 40-50 kHz are produced (Sewell, 1969; Sales, 1972a).

This would then transmit sound to the ossicles and ultimately to the cochlea, through the processus gracilis of the malleus. The work of Dudok van Heel (1959, 1962) has also favored the view that the meatus is not exclusively involved in sound conduction to the middle ear. The directionality of hearing in Phocaena phocaena was mea­ sured by an operant conditioning method. The animal was trained to distinguish from a distance which of two underwater loudspeakers was producing a tone signal. 5 kHz and 16° at 6 kHz.

Gould and Morgan (1941) trained rats to avoid an electric shock in response to pure tone stimulation, and found that sensitivity increased up to 20 kHz. Their equipment was inadequate to give accurate readings much above this frequency, but they found some evidence that rats heard well at 40 kHz. In 1942, they further suggested that rats may hear 40 kHz better than other frequencies. This indication of high-frequency sen­ sitivity was eventually corroborated by Crowley et al. (1965) who inves­ tigated the CM response from the round window of rats.

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