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J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 Aug;122(2):1249-64.

Assessing temporary threshold shift in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) using multiple simultaneous auditory evoked potentials.

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U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, Code 2351, San Diego, California 92152, USA.


Hearing sensitivity was measured in a bottlenose dolphin before and after exposure to an intense 20-kHz fatiguing tone in three different experiments. In each experiment, hearing was characterized using both the auditory steady-state response (ASSR) and behavioral methods. In experiments 1 and 2, ASSR stimuli consisted of seven frequency-modulated tones, each with a unique carrier and modulation frequency. The tones were simultaneously presented to the subject and the ASSR at each modulation rate measured to determine the effects of the sound exposure at the corresponding carrier frequency. In experiment 3 behavioral thresholds and ASSR input-output functions were measured at a single frequency before and after three exposures. Hearing loss was frequency-dependent, with the largest temporary threshold shifts occurring (in order) at 30, 40, and 20 kHz. ASSR threshold shifts reached 40-45 dB and were always larger than behavioral shifts (19-33 dB). The ASSR input-output functions were represented as the sum of two processes: a low threshold, saturating process and a higher threshold, linear process, that react and recover to fatigue at different rates. The loss of the near-threshold saturating process after exposure may explain the discrepancies between the ASSR and behavioral threshold shifts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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