Development of auditory function in the tammar wallaby Macropus eugenii

Kenneth G. Hill, Barbara Cone-Wesson, Guang Bin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were evoked in developing wallabies by click and tone burst stimuli delivered by bone conduction and air conduction, at progressive stages of post-natal (pouch) life. ABRs were recorded through the onset of auditory responses (95-110 days), the opening of the external ear canal (125-130 days) and the maturation of ABR thresholds and latencies to values corresponding to those in adults (> 180 days). ABRs were evoked in response to bone-conducted clicks some days prior to the age at which an acoustically evoked response was first observed (around 95 days of pouch life). ABRs could be evoked by bone-conducted and intense air- conducted stimuli prior to opening of the ear canal. A trend of decreasing threshold and latency with age was observed for both modes of stimulation. The morphology of the ABR became more complex, according to both increased age and increased stimulus intensity. The ABR waveforms indicated relatively greater mechanosensitivity to bone-conducted stimuli than to air-conducted stimuli, prior to opening of the ear canal. Following opening of the ear canal, thresholds to air-conducted clicks and tones were substantially reduced and decreased further over the next 10-20 days, while thresholds to bone-conducted clicks continued slowly to decrease. Thresholds to tone bursts in the centre frequency range (4-12 kHz) remained less than those for low (0.5-1.5 kHz) and higher (16 kHz) frequencies. Latencies of an identified peak in ABR waveforms characteristically decreased with age (at constant stimulus intensity) and with stimulus intensity (for a given age). ABR waveforms obtained at progressive ages, but judged to be at corresponding sensation levels, underwent maturational changes, independent of conductive aspects of the wallabies' hearing, for 2-3 weeks after opening of the ear canal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalHearing Research
Volume117
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Auditory development
  • Marsupial development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

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