Conducting Playback Experiments and Interpreting their Results

  • H. Carl Gerhardt
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 228)


The aim of this chapter is to discuss factors to be considered in the design, execution and interpretation of playback experiments. Most of these factors will be of general concern, even though my examples will be drawn heavily from two-speaker designs with frogs and toads as subjects. I recognise at the outset that many researchers will consider some of these concerns trivial, taking for granted that every researcher will have taken this or that precaution in designing and executing the experiment. My response is that every factor under consideration has detracted from some recent study that I have done myself, that has recently appeared in the literature, or that I have reviewed in manuscript form. More significantly, the precautions that one laboratory routinely takes into consideration are often not even mentioned in the Methods and Materials section of a paper. However, this does not mean that every researcher is aware of the pitfalls, nor does it mean that every laboratory routinely adopts procedures to avoid such pitfalls. I strongly recommend that we adopt the policy of adding enough information to our papers (probably only a few sentences) so that readers are not required to make any assumptions about methodology.


Duty Cycle Pulse Train Sound Pressure Level Credible Interval Harmonic Distortion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Carl Gerhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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