Dolphin hearing: relative sensitivity as a function of point of application of a contact sound source in the jaw and head region

J Acoust Soc Am. 1999 Jun;105(6):3421-4. doi: 10.1121/1.426959.


The auditory input area of the dolphin head was investigated in an unrestrained animal trained to beach itself and to accept noninvasive electroencephalograph (EEG) electrodes for the recording of the auditory brain-stem response (ABR). The stimulus was a synthetic dolphin click, transmitted from a piezo-electric transducer and coupled to the skin via a small volume of water. The results conform with earlier experiments on acute preparations that show best auditory sensitivity at the middle of the lower jaw. Minimum latency was found at the rear of the lower jaw. A shaded receiver configuration for the dolphin ear is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Echolocation / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / physiology
  • Head / physiology*
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Jaw / physiology*
  • Porpoises / physiology*
  • Sound*