Key Event Overview
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AOPs Including This Key Event
Level of Biological Organization
How this Key Event works
Hearing refers to the ability to perceive sound vibrations propagated as pressure changes through a medium such as air or water. Reduced hearing in the context of this key event can refer to reduction in the perceived volume of a sound relative to the amplitude of sound waves. Reduced hearing may also refer to a reduced range of frequencies that can be perceived.
How it is Measured or Detected
Hearing is generally measured behaviorally or electrophysiologically.
- Common behavioral tests involve transmission of pure tones of defined amplitude and frequency using and audiometer or PC and using a behavioral response (e.g., clicking a button; startle response) to determine whether the tone is perceived.
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR): Uses electrodes placed on the head to detect auditory evoked potentials from background electrical activity in the brain.
Hearing tests in Fish:
- Through the mid-late 1980s conditioning and behavioral tests were most commonly employed in testing fish hearing. Methods reviewed by Fay (1988)
- A high throughput behavioral test for detecting auditory response in fish has been described (Bang et al. 2002).
- Invasive electrophysiological methods involving surgical insertion of electrodes into the auditory nerves have been employed.
- Non-invasive recording of Auditory Evoked Potentials (AEPs; synonymous with ABRs) are now the most common approach for measuring hearing in fish. AEPs can be recorded via electrodes attached cutaneously to the head (see review by Ladich and Fay, 2013).
Evidence Supporting Taxonomic Applicability
- A sense of hearing is known to exist in a wide range of vertebrates and invertebrates, although the organs and structures involved vary widely.
- Fay RR (1988) Hearing in vertebrates: a psychophysics databook. Hill-Fay Associates, Winnetka, Ill
- Ladich F, Fay RR. Auditory evoked potential audiometry in fish. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. 2013;23(3):317-364. doi:10.1007/s11160-012-9297-z.
- Bang PI, Yelick PC, Malicki JJ, Sewell WF. High-throughput behavioral screening method for detecting auditory response defects in zebrafish. J Neurosci Methods. 2002 Aug 30;118(2):177-87. PubMed PMID: 12204308.