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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2004 Dec;190(12):1039-46. Epub 2004 Oct 5.

Duration discrimination in the mouse (Mus musculus).

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Zoophysiology and Behaviour Group, Institute for Biology and Environmental Science, Carl von Ossietzky University, Postfach 2503, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany.


Detection thresholds for an increment in duration of a 10-kHz pure tone were determined in the NMRI mouse using a Go/NoGo-procedure and the method of constant stimuli. Thresholds for reference durations of 50, 100 and 200 ms were obtained presenting the signals at a fixed level or at a level varying by +/-3 dB. Thresholds were determined using signal-detection theory ( d'=1.0 or d'=1.8) and the criterion of 50% correct responses. For a fixed level, the average Weber fraction Delta T/ T (criterion of d'=1.8) significantly decreased from 1.18 or 1.23 at reference durations of 50 or 100 ms, respectively, to 0.97 at a reference duration of 200 ms. Thresholds were on average reduced by 46.8 or 55.4% for the threshold criteria d'=1 or 50% correct responses, respectively. There was no effect of randomizing the level on the discrimination threshold. Duration discrimination in the NMRI mouse does not follow Weber's law. The results are consistent with a mechanism summing up neural impulses over the duration of the stimulus. The psychoacoustic data are compared with results obtained by Brand et al. (J Acoust Soc Am 51:1291-1223, 2000) on the representation of acoustic signal duration in the mouse inferior colliculus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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