Advances In Comparative Physiology Biochemistry by O. Lowenstein

By O. Lowenstein

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They found the summating potential to be prominent when intensity or frequency were high, and that the latency from the CM to the foot of the action potential decreased when intensity or frequency were in­ creased. Heffner et al. 5 kHz with greatest sensitivity at 8 kHz. Wever et al. (1963) showed a higher upper limit of 60-70 kHz in the CM response of the guinea pig. The peak was variable in fre­ quency, but some subjects gave a maximum as high as 30-45 kHz. Peter- 34 A. M. BROWN AND J. D. PYE son and Heaton (1968) then showed an even higher limit of 100 kHz in the CM response.

Cutting this ligament did not affect the response, indicating that it did not form part of the conduction chain. Using tones between 3 and 100 kHz in water, it was shown that tension on the tympanic ligament caused attenuation of the response as is found in the cat, but actual removal of the entire malleus had surprisingly little effect on the response, causing only 4 dB attenuation. It was concluded that the malleus was not essential for conduction, at least of high-fre­ quency tones, and their evidence showed that hearing was by way of bone conduction.

It would be false to give the impression that all workers have found this peak, however. Schleidt (1952), using behavioral responses, and Ishii et al. (1964), re­ cording the CM response, made no mention of such a peak, despite the use of tones up to 100 kHz, and Peacock and Williams (1962) were un­ able to train rats to respond to 40 kHz. But the work of Sewell on ultra­ sound production by rats clearly indicates the adaptive significance of such a peak. She showed that cries of the young fall predominantly in the 30-75 kHz frequency range (Sewell, 1969) and that during aggressive behavior by adults many sounds of 40-50 kHz are produced (Sewell, 1969; Sales, 1972a).

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