Auditory stream segregation in goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Hear Res. 1998 Jun;120(1-2):69-76. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5955(98)00058-6.


Goldfish were classically conditioned to a mixture of two pulse trains differing in both repetition rate and the spectral profile of the pulses. Animals were then tested for generalization to single pulse trains having one or the other spectral profile presented at a variety of repetition rates. Generalization functions of repetition rate were qualitatively similar to those obtained following conditioning to either of the pulse trains alone. Thus, the spectral profile of each pulse type was appropriately associated with the repetition rate at which that pulse type was presented during conditioning. These results indicate that the two concurrent pulse trains making up the conditioning stimuli were analyzed independently, forming two auditory streams. When either of the two pulse trains were presented with a 500 ms onset asynchrony, stream segregation was enhanced. These and other results suggest that many fundamental features of the human sense of hearing are widely shared among vertebrate animals, and may have developed first among fishes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal
  • Species Specificity