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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2008 Jan;194(1):39-47. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

Psychophysical and neurophysiological hearing thresholds in the bat Phyllostomus discolor.

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Department Biology II, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany.


Absolute hearing thresholds in the spear-nosed bat Phyllostomus discolor have been determined both with psychophysical and neurophysiological methods. Neurophysiological data have been obtained from two different structures of the ascending auditory pathway, the inferior colliculus and the auditory cortex. Minimum auditory thresholds of neurons are very similar in both structures. Lowest absolute thresholds of 0 dB SPL are reached at frequencies from about 35 to 55 kHz in both cases. Overall behavioural sensitivity is roughly 20 dB better than neural sensitivity. The behavioural audiogram shows a first threshold dip around 23 kHz but threshold was lowest at 80 kHz (-10 dB SPL). This high sensitivity at 80 kHz is not reflected in the neural data. The data suggest that P. discolor has considerably better absolute auditory thresholds than estimated previously. The psychophysical and neurophysiological data are compared to other phyllostomid bats and differences are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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