Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Gap detection in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

III. Processing in the peripheral auditory system

  • 24 Accesses

  • 22 Citations

Summary

Gap-detection thresholds were determined for single units in the cochlear ganglion and in auditory nerve fibres of the starling from responses to two broad-band noise bursts separated by a temporal gap of between 0.4 and 204.8 ms. All 35 units showed a threshold within the range of gap sizes tested. The median minimum-detectable gap was 12.8 ms with the minimum being 1.6 ms. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the size of the minimum-detectable gap was not significantly correlated with the neuron's CF, with its sharpness of tuning as given by its bandwidth 10 dB above threshold, or with its Q10dB value. Only the level of stimulation above the neuron's threshold showed a significant negative correlation with the size of the minimum-detectable gap. These results are discussed with respect to theoretical considerations of limits posed on temporal resolution by the characteristics of peripheral filters. These findings are also discussed in the context of the coding of gaps at different levels of the starling's auditory system and in relation to psychoacoustic results in the starling on gap detection and time resolution described by temporal modulation transfer functions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Abbreviations

CF :

characteristic frequency;

TW :

time window

Q 10dB :

the unit's characteristic frequency divided by the bandwidth 10 dB above threshold

References

  1. Boer E de (1985) Auditory time constants: a paradox? In: Michelsen A (ed) Time resolution in auditory systems. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 141–158

  2. Boer E de, Kruidenier C (1990) On ringing limits of the auditory periphery. Biol Cybern 63:433–442

  3. Buchfellner E 1987 Untersuchungen zur Kodierung von Pausen in Weißem Rauschen durch Neurone des caudalen Telencephalon des Staren (Sturnus vulgaris). Diplom thesis, Zoology Dept Technical University Munich

  4. Buchfellner E, Leppelsack H-J, Klump GM, Häusler U (1989) Gap detection in the starling (Sturnus vulgaris): II. Coding of gaps by forebrain neurons. J Comp Physiol A 164:539–549

  5. Dooling RJ, Okanoya K, Downing J, Hulse S (1986) Hearing in the starling (Sturnus vulgaris): Absolute thresholds and critical ratios. Bull Psychonom Soc 24:462–466

  6. Dunia R, Narins PM (1989) Temporal resolution in frog auditorynerve fibers. J Acoust Soc Am 82:1630–1638

  7. Fay RR (1985) Sound intensity processing by the goldfish. J Acoust Soc Am 78:1296–1309

  8. Giraudi D, Salvi R, Henderson D, Hamerik R (1980) Gap detection by the chinchilla. J Acoust Soc Am 68:802–806

  9. Gleich O (1989) Auditory primary afferents in the starling: Correlation of function and morphology. Hearing Res 37:255–268

  10. Gleich O, Narins PM (1988) The phase response of primary auditory afferents in a songbird (Sturnus vulgaris L.). Hearing Res 32:81–92

  11. Green DM, Forrest TG (1988) Detection of amplitude modulation and gaps in noise. In: Duifhuis H, Horst JW, Witt HP (eds) Basic issues in hearing. Academic Press, London, pp 323–330

  12. Harris DM, Dallos P (1979) Forward masking of auditory nerve fibre responses. J Neurophysiol 42:1083–1107

  13. Helversen D von (1972) Gesang des Männchens und Lautschema des Weibchens bei der FeldheuschreckeChorthippus biguttulus (Orthoptera, Acrididae). J Comp Physiol 81:381–422

  14. Klump GM, Maier EH (1989) Gap detection in the starling (Sturnus vulgaris): I. Psychophysical thresholds. J Comp Physiol A 164:531–539

  15. Manley GA (1986) The evolution of the mechanisms of frequency selectivity in vertebrates. In: Moore BCJ, Patterson RD (eds) Auditory frequency selectivity. Plenum, New York London, pp 63–72

  16. Manley GA, Gleich O, Leppelsack H-J, Oeckinghaus H (1985) Activity patterns of cochlear ganglion neurons in the starling. J Comp Physiol A 157:161–181

  17. Okanoya K, Dooling RJ (1990) Minimum detectable gap in noise as a function of intensity and frequency for two avian species, budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and zebra finches (Poephila guttata). Hearing Res 50:185–192

  18. Patterson RD (1988) Comment on Green DM, Forrest TG: Detection of amplitude modulation and gaps in noise. In: Duifhuis H, Horst JW, Witt HP (eds) Basic issues in hearing. Academic Press, London, pp 331

  19. Rees A, Palmer AR (1989) Neuronal responses to amplitude-modulated and pure-tone stimuli in the guinea pig inferior colliculus, and their modification by broadband noise. J Acoust Soc Am 85:1978–1994

  20. Ronacher B, Römer H (1985) Spike synchronization of tympanic receptor fibres in a grasshopper (Chorthippus biguttulus L., Acrididae). A possible mechanism for the detection of gaps in model songs. J Comp Physiol A 157:631–642

  21. Ronacher B, Stumpner A (1988) Filtering of behaviourally relevant temporal parameters of a grasshopper's song by an auditory interneuron. J Comp Physiol A 163:517–523

  22. Rose G, Capranica R (1985) Sensitivity to amplitude modulated sounds in the anuran auditory nervous system. J Neurophysiol 53:446–465

  23. Salvi RJ, Arehole S (1985) Gap detection in chinchillas with temporary high-frequency hearing loss. J Acoust Soc Am 77:1173–1177

  24. Shailer MJ, Moore BCJ (1983) Gap detection as a function of frequency, bandwidth, and level. J Acoust Soc Am 74:467–473

  25. Smith RL (1977) Short-term adaptation in single auditory nerve fibres: some poststimulatory effects. J Neurophysiol 40:1098–1112

  26. Smith RL (1979) Adaptation, saturation, and physiological masking in single auditory nerve fibres. J Acoust Soc Am 65:166–178

  27. Surlykke A, Larsen O, Michelsen A (1988) Temporal coding in the auditory receptor of the moth ear. J Comp Physiol A 162:367–374

  28. Viemeister NF (1979) Temporal modulation transfer functions based upon modulation thresholds. J Acoust Soc Am 66:1364–1380

  29. Zhang W, Salvi RJ, Saunders SS (1990) Neural correlates of gap detection in auditory-nerve fibers of the chinchilla. Hearing Res, 46:181–200

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Georg M. Klump.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Klump, G.M., Gleich, O. Gap detection in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). J Comp Physiol A 168, 469–476 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00199606

Download citation

Key words

  • Bird
  • Hearing
  • Auditory nerve
  • Temporal resolution
  • Gap detection