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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2009 Nov;154(3):341-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Jul 12.

Does speaker presentation affect auditory evoked potential thresholds in goldfish?

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Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


The auditory evoked potential (AEP) recording technique has proved to be a very versatile and successful approach in studying auditory sensitivities in fishes. The AEP protocol introduced by Kenyon, Ladich and Yan in 1998 using an air speaker with the fish positioned at the water surface gave auditory thresholds in goldfish very close to behavioural values published before. This approach was subsequently modified by several laboratories, raising the question whether speaker choice (air vs. underwater) or the position of subjects affect auditory threshold determination. To answer these questions, the hearing specialist Carassius auratus was measured using an air speaker, an underwater speaker and alternately positioning the fish directly at or 5cm below the water surface. Mean hearing thresholds obtained using these 4 different setups varied by 5.6dB, 3.7dB and 4dB at 200Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz, respectively. Accordingly, pronounced differences in AEP thresholds in goldfish measured in different laboratories reflect other factors than speaker used and depth of the test subjects, namely variations in threshold definition, background noise, population differences, or calibration errors.

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