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J Comp Physiol A. 1986 May;158(5):705-11.

Evoked potentials of the auditory cortex of the porpoise, Phocoena phocoena.


Evoked potential (EP) recordings in the auditory cortex of the porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, were used to obtain data characterizing the auditory perception of this dolphin. The frequency threshold curves showed that the lowest EP thresholds were within 120-130 kHz. An additional sensitivity peak was observed between 20 and 30 kHz. The minimal EP threshold to noise burst was 3 X 10(-4) - 10(-3) Pa. The threshold for response to modulations in sound intensity was below 0.5 dB and about 0.1% for frequency modulations. Special attention was paid to the dependence of the auditory cortex EP on the temporal parameters of the acoustic stimuli: sound burst duration, rise time, and repetition rate. The data indicate that the porpoise auditory cortex is adapted to detect ultrasonic, brief, fast rising, and closely spaced sounds like echolocating clicks.

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