Detectability of Tones in Quiet and in Noise by Rats and Monkeys

  • George Gourevitch


Sensory systems in humans have been investigated by means of psychophysical methods. These methods define the rules for systematic presentation of stimuli to the subject and for the analysis of the subject’s responses from which various characteristics of the particular sensory system can be abstracted. Human psychophysical experiments rely heavily on language for instruction of the subject in his task and for his cooperation throughout the study. A crucial difference between human and animal psychophysics is the absence of language in animals. Thus, a systematic investigation of sensory characteristics in animals requires application of techniques which evolved not only from psychophysics, but also from another branch of psychology, namely, conditioning. In order to instruct animals in their task in a psychophysical experiment and maintain their behavior during these experiments, conditioning techniques have been required. Both classical and instrumental conditioning techniques have supplied appropriate precedures, although instrumental conditioning has been the more prevalent source of these techniques.


Sound Pressure Level Basilar Membrane Sound Field Critical Ratio Absolute Threshold 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ash, P. 1951. The sensory capacities of infrahuman mammals: vision, audition, gustation. Psychol. Bull., 48:289–326.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barrow, S., E. Luschei, M. Nathan, and C. Saslow. 1966. A training technique for the daily chairing of monkeys. J. Exp. Anal. Behav., 9:680.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behar, I., J. N. Cronholm, and M. Loeb. 1965. Auditory sensitivity of the rhesus monkey. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 59:426–428.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Békésy, G. von. 1947. A new audiometer. Acta Otolaryng. (Stockholm), 35:411–422.Google Scholar
  5. Békésy, G. von and W. A. Rosenblith. 1951. The mechanical properties of the ear. In S. S. Stevens, ed. Handbook of Experimental Psychology, New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 1075–1115.Google Scholar
  6. Berlin, C. I. 1963. Hearing in mice via GSR audiometry. J. Speech Hearing Res., 6:359–368.Google Scholar
  7. Blackwell, H. R., and H. Schlosberg. 1943. Octave generalization, pitch discrimination, and loudness thresholds in the white rat. J. Exp. Psychol., 33:407–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bos, C. E., and E. de Boer. 1966. Masking and discrimination. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 39:708–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clack, T. D., and J. D. Harris. 1963. Auditory thresholds in the rat by a two-lever technique. J. Aud. Res., 3:53–63.Google Scholar
  10. Clack, T. D., and J. D. Harris and P. N. Herman. 1963. A single-lever psychophysical adjustment procedure for measuring auditory thresholds in the monkey. J. Aud. Res., 3:175–183.Google Scholar
  11. Cowies, J. T., and L. A. Pennington. 1943. An improved technique for determining auditory acuity of the rat. J. Psychol., 15: 41–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crowley, D. E., M. C. Hepp-Reymond, D. Tabowitz, and J. Palin. 1965. Cochlear potentials in the albino rat. J. Aud. Res., 5:307–316.Google Scholar
  13. Eccher, W. 1942. Comparative thresholds of pitch and intensity in rat, dog and man. Paper delivered at the meetings of the Eastern Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  14. Elder, J. H. 1934. Auditory acuity of the chimpanzee. J. Comp. Psychol., 17:157–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Feldtkeller, R., and E. Zwicker. 1956. Das Ohr als Nachrichtenempfänger, Stuttgart, Hirzel.Google Scholar
  16. Fletcher, H. 1929. Speech and Hearing, New York, D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Fletcher, H. 1940. Auditory patterns. Rev. Mod. Physics, 12:47–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fletcher, H. and W. A. Munson. 1937. Relation between loudness and masking. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 9:1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fujita, S., and D. N. Elliott. 1965. Thresholds of audition for three species of monkey. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 37:139–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gould, J., and C. T. Morgan. 1942. Auditory sensitivity in the rat. J. Comp. Psychol., 34:321–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gourevitch, G. 1965. Auditory masking in the rat. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 37:439–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gourevitch, G. and B. Cole. 1963. A manipulandum for use with rats responding to auditory stimuli. J. Exp. Anal. Behav., 6:413–414.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gourevitch, G. and M. H. Hack. 1966. Audibility in the rat. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 62:289–291.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gourevitch, G. M. H. Hack, and J. E. Hawkins. 1960. Auditory thresholds in the rat measured by an operant technique. Science, 131:1046–1047.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Green, D. M. 1965. Masking with two tones. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 37:802–813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Greenwood, D. N. 1961a. Auditory masking and the critical band. J. Acoust. Soc Amer., 33:484–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Greenwood, D. N1961b. Critical bandwidth and the frequency coordinates of the basilar membrane. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 33:1344–1356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hack, M. 1966. Receiver operating characteristics in the rat. J. Aud. Res., 6:229–234.Google Scholar
  29. Hamilton, P. M. 1957. Noise masked thresholds as a function of tonal duration and masking noise bandwidth. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 29:506–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Harris, J. D. 1943. The auditory acuity of préadolescent monkeys. J. Comp. Psychol., 35:255–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hawkins, J. E., and S. S. Stevens. 1950. The masking of pure tones and of speech by white noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 22:6–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Henry, F. M. 1938. Audition in the white rat. III. Absolute and relative thresholds. J. Comp. Psychol., 26:45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hunter, W. S. 1927. Further data on the auditory sensitivity of the white rat. Pedag. Sem., 34:177–187.Google Scholar
  34. Jamison, J. H. 1951. Measurement of auditory intensity thresholds in the rat by conditioning of an autonomic response. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 44:118–125.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson, C. S. 1968. Masked tonal thresholds in the bottlenosed porpoise. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 44:965–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Licklider, J. C. R. 1951. Basic correlates of the auditory stimulus. In S. S. Stevens, ed. Handbook of Experimental Psychology, New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 985–1039.Google Scholar
  37. Miller, J. D. 1964. Auditory sensitivity of the chinchilla in quiet and in noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 36:2010. (Abstr.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Munn, N. L. 1950. Handbook of Psychological Research on the Rat, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company.Google Scholar
  39. Palin, J., and G. Gourevitch. 1970. An improved narrowband noise source. Electroenceph. Clin. Neurophysiol. (In press.)Google Scholar
  40. Plomp, R., and W. J. M. Levelt. 1965. Tonal consonance and critical bandwidth. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 38:548–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ratliff, F., and D. S. Blough. 1954. Behavioral studies of visual processes in the pigeon. USN, ONR, Tech. Rep., Contract N5 ori-07663, Proj. NR 140–072.Google Scholar
  42. Schäfer, T. H., R. S. Gales, C. A. Shewmaker, and P. O. Thompson. 1950. The frequency selectivity of the ear as determined by masking experiments. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 22:490–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Scharf, B. 1966. Critical bands: Special Report, LSC-S-3. Laboratory of Sensory Communication, Syracuse University.Google Scholar
  44. Seiden, H. R. 1958. Auditory acuity of the marmoset monkey (Hapale jacchus). Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, Univ. Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.Google Scholar
  45. Semenoff, W. A., and F. A. Young. 1964. Comparison of the auditory acuity of man and monkey. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 57:89–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stebbins, W. C. 1970. Hearing. In Schrier, A. M. and F. Stollnitz, eds. Behavior of Nonhuman Primates, New York, Academic Press, Inc., vol. 3.Google Scholar
  47. Stebbins, W. C. S. Green, and F. L. Miller. 1966. Auditory sensitivity of the monkey. Science, 153:1646–1647.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stevens, S. S., and H. Davis. 1938. Hearing, New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  49. Watson, C. S. 1963. Masking of tones by noise for the cat. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 35:167–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wendt, G. R. 1934. Auditory acuity of monkeys. Comp. Psychol. Monogr., 10:1–51.Google Scholar
  51. Zwicker, E., G. Flottorp, and S. S. Stevens. 1957. Critical band width in loudness summation. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 29:548–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Gourevitch
    • 1
  1. 1.Hunter CollegeThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations