[MARMAM] new paper - porpoise temporal process

T. Aran Mooney amooney at whoi.edu
Tue Dec 6 11:01:29 PST 2011

Please post the following message:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to inform you we recently published a paper on porpoise temporal
processing of sounds.  It can be downloaded at:

or directly from the Journal of Comparative Physiology:

I hope you find the work helpful.

Temporal cues are important for some forms of auditory processing, such as
echolocation. Among odontocetes (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises), it
has been suggested that porpoises may have temporal processing
abilities which differ from other odontocetes because of their relatively narrow
auditory filters and longer duration echolocation signals. This study examined
auditory temporal resolution in two Yangtze finless porpoises
(Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) using auditory evoked potentials
(AEPs) to measure: (a) rate following responses and modulation rate transfer
function for 100 kHz centered pulse sounds and (b) hearing thresholds and 
response amplitudes generated by individual pulses of different durations. The
animals followed pulses well at modulation rates up to 1,250 Hz, after which
response amplitudes declined until extinguished beyond 2,500 Hz. The subjects
had significantly better hearing thresholds for longer, narrower-band pulses
similar to porpoise echolocation signals compared to brief, broadband sounds
resembling dolphin clicks. Results indicate that the Yangtze finless porpoise
follows individual acoustic signals at rates similar to other odontocetes
tested. Relatively good sensitivity for longer duration, narrow-band signals
suggests that finless porpoise hearing is well suited to detect their unique
echolocation signals.

T. Aran Mooney
Assistant Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
(508)289-3714 (w)
(518)339-1151 (c)

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