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Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 462–464 | Cite as

Hearing in the starling (Sturnus vulgaris): Absolute thresholds and critical ratios

  • Robert J. Dooling
  • Kazuo Okanoya
  • Jane Downing
  • Stewart Hulse
Article
  • 275 Downloads

Abstract

Operant conditioning and a psychophysical tracking procedure were used to measure auditory thresholds for pure tones in quiet and in noise for a European starling. The audibility curve for the starling is similar to the auditory sensitivity reported earlier for this species using a heart-rate conditioning procedure. Masked auditory thresholds for the starling were measured at a number of test frequencies throughout the bird’s hearing range. Critical ratios (signal-to-noise ratio at masked threshold) were calculated from these pure tone thresholds. Critical ratios increase throughout the starling’s hearing range at a rate of about 3 dB per octave. This pattern is similar to that observed for most other vertebrates. These results suggest that the starling shares a common mechanism of spectral analysis with many other vertebrates, including the human.

Keywords

Operant Conditioning Critical Ratio Absolute Threshold Auditory Threshold Auditory Sensitivity 
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.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Dooling
    • 1
  • Kazuo Okanoya
    • 1
  • Jane Downing
    • 1
  • Stewart Hulse
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of MarylandCollege Park
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore

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