A recent survey lists more than 100 papers utilizing the auditory evoked potential (AEP) recording technique for studying hearing in fishes. More than 95 % of these AEP-studies were published after Kenyon et al. introduced a non-invasive electrophysiological approach in 1998 allowing rapid evaluation of hearing and repeated testing of animals. First, our review compares AEP hearing thresholds to behaviorally gained thresholds. Second, baseline hearing abilities are described and compared in 111 fish species out of 51 families. Following this, studies investigating the functional significance of various accessory hearing structures (Weberian ossicles, swim bladder, otic bladders) by eliminating these morphological structures in various ways are dealt with. Furthermore, studies on the ontogenetic development of hearing are summarized. The AEP-technique was frequently used to study the effects of high sound/noise levels on hearing in particular by measuring the temporary threshold shifts after exposure to various noise types (white noise, pure tones and anthropogenic noises). In addition, the hearing thresholds were determined in the presence of noise (white, ambient, ship noise) in several studies, a phenomenon termed masking. Various ecological (e.g., temperature, cave dwelling), genetic (e.g., albinism), methodical (e.g., ototoxic drugs, threshold criteria, speaker choice) and behavioral (e.g., dominance, reproductive status) factors potentially influencing hearing were investigated. Finally, the technique was successfully utilized to study acoustic communication by comparing hearing curves with sound spectra either under quiet conditions or in the presence of noise, by analyzing the temporal resolution ability of the auditory system and the detection of temporal, spectral and amplitude characteristics of conspecific vocalizations.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 18, 2013
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