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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2014 Apr;200(4):265-84. doi: 10.1007/s00359-014-0882-6. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Spatial hearing in Cope's gray treefrog: I. Open and closed loop experiments on sound localization in the presence and absence of noise.

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Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Ecology 100, 1987 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA,


The ability to reliably locate sound sources is critical to anurans, which navigate acoustically complex breeding choruses when choosing mates. Yet, the factors influencing sound localization performance in frogs remain largely unexplored. We applied two complementary methodologies, open and closed loop playback trials, to identify influences on localization abilities in Cope's gray treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis. We examined localization acuity and phonotaxis behavior of females in response to advertisement calls presented from 12 azimuthal angles, at two signal levels, in the presence and absence of noise, and at two noise levels. Orientation responses were consistent with precise localization of sound sources, rather than binary discrimination between sources on either side of the body (lateralization). Frogs were unable to discriminate between sounds arriving from forward and rearward directions, and accurate localization was limited to forward sound presentation angles. Within this region, sound presentation angle had little effect on localization acuity. The presence of noise and low signal-to-noise ratios also did not strongly impair localization ability in open loop trials, but females exhibited reduced phonotaxis performance consistent with impaired localization during closed loop trials. We discuss these results in light of previous work on spatial hearing in anurans.

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