Distortion product otoacoustic emissions and auditory evoked potentials in the hedgehog tenrec, Echinops telfairi

J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2003 Dec;4(4):555-64. doi: 10.1007/s10162-002-3043-5. Epub 2003 Oct 23.


The hedgehog tenrec, Echinops telfairi, has certain basal mammalian features, like a cloaca and a sparsely differentiated brain with smooth cerebral hemispheres. The peripheral auditory capabilities of this species were investigated by means of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE). For comparison, we determined auditory evoked potentials (AEP) in the inferior colliculus and the auditory cortex. Both methods show that the auditory range of E. telfairi extends well into ultrasonic frequencies, with a region of highest sensitivity at around 16 kHz. The total auditory range spans about 4 octaves at 40 dB SPL. The low-frequency limit of auditory processing is found at frequencies of about 2-3 kHz. The DPOAE and the AEP thresholds of E. telfairi do not run fully parallel in the high-frequency range. For a threshold value of 40 dB SPL, cochlear mechanical thresholds as measured with DPOAE extend up to 50 kHz, whereas neuronal thresholds reach the high-frequency limit at about 30 kHz. Frequency tuning, as assessed from DPOAE suppression tuning curves, was low to moderate with Q(10 dB) values ranging from 1.7 to 8. The lack of discontinuity in the group delay (derived from DPOAE measurements) reveals that cochlear frequency representation is tonotopic without any region of specialized mechanical tuning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Eulipotyphla / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology
  • Male
  • Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous / physiology*