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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Apr;22(2):301-10. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.12.014. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

Sound source perception in anuran amphibians.

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Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Sound source perception refers to the auditory system's ability to parse incoming sensory information into coherent representations of distinct sound sources in the environment. Such abilities are no doubt key to successful communication in many taxa, but we know little about their function in animal communication systems. For anuran amphibians (frogs and toads), social and reproductive behaviors depend on a listener's ability to hear and identify sound signals amid high levels of background noise in acoustically cluttered environments. Recent neuroethological studies are revealing how frogs parse these complex acoustic scenes to identify individual calls in noisy breeding choruses. Current evidence highlights some interesting similarities and differences in how the auditory systems of frogs and other vertebrates (most notably birds and mammals) perform auditory scene analysis.

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