Microphonic potentials were recorded from the ears of the goldfish during acoustic stimulation in a situation where sound pressure and particle displacement could be varied. Microphonic potentials from fishes with the swim bladder intact were proportional to sound pressure. After removal of the swim bladder, sound pressure sensitivity declined by 20-35 dB and the response was generated in proportion to particle displacement. The ear's sensitivity to direct vibration of the head increases at between -3 and -6 dB/octave between 70 and 1500 Hz and is not affected by the removal of the swim bladder. It is concluded that the peripheral auditory system of the goldfish may function as a pressure detector or as a displacement detector, depending upon the impedance of the applied signal.

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