Hearing threshold and frequency discrimination for underwater sound were measured in the clawed frog Xenopus laevis by means of conditioning. A go/no go discrimination procedure was used in which the test tone was presented concurrently with a wave on the surface of the water. The tone signalled whether or not the frog should respond to the wave. The hearing range of X. laevis was 200–4000 Hz. Similar thresholds of 92–96 dB re 1 microPa were found at 600 Hz, 1400–1800 Hz and 3200–3600 Hz. A high threshold at 1000–1300 Hz suggested that this was the frequency range between the sensitivities of the amphibian and basilar papillae. Relative frequency discrimination was approximately 5 % at 400–800 Hz, 45 % at 1000 Hz and 2.4-6 % at 1600–2500 Hz. This last range encompasses the dominant frequencies of the advertisement call of this species. High discrimination acuity at these frequencies may be used in distinguishing between calling males. The threshold for a one-third-octave bandpass noise centred at 600 Hz was 27.6 dB lower than that for a pure tone of 600 Hz, suggesting that sound intensity was integrated within this bandwidth, possibly by a critical-band mechanism.
Hearing threshold and frequency discrimination in the purely aquatic frog Xenopus laevis (Pipidae): measurement by means of conditioning
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A. Elepfandt, I. Eistetter, A. Fleig, E. Gunther, M. Hainich, S. Hepperle, B. Traub; Hearing threshold and frequency discrimination in the purely aquatic frog Xenopus laevis (Pipidae): measurement by means of conditioning. J Exp Biol 1 December 2000; 203 (23): 3621–3629. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.203.23.3621
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