Underwater Equal-Latency Contours of a Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) for Tonal Signals Between 0.5 and 125 kHz

  • Paul J. WensveenEmail author
  • Léonie A. E. Huijser
  • Lean Hoek
  • Ronald A. Kastelein
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 875)


Loudness perception can be studied based on the assumption that sounds of equal loudness elicit equal reaction time (RT; or “response latency”). We measured the underwater RTs of a harbor porpoise to narrowband frequency-modulated sounds and constructed six equal-latency contours. The contours paralleled the audiogram at low sensation levels (high RTs). At high-sensation levels, contours flattened between 0.5 and 31.5 kHz but dropped substantially (RTs shortened) beyond those frequencies. This study suggests that equal-latency-based frequency weighting can emulate noise perception in porpoises for low and middle frequencies but that the RT-loudness correlation is relatively weak for very high frequencies.


Auditory weighting Loudness Noise effects Odontocetes Reaction time 



This work was supported by The Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, The Netherlands Ministry of Defence, and the UK Natural Environment Research Council. We thank Martijn Rambags, Tess van der Drift, Krista Krijger, Arie Smink, Erwin Jansen, Nancy Jennings, Michael Ainslie, Filipa Samarra, Wim Verboom, and René Dekeling for their important contributions to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. Wensveen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Léonie A. E. Huijser
    • 2
  • Lean Hoek
    • 2
  • Ronald A. Kastelein
    • 2
  1. 1.Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans InstituteUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. Andrews, FifeUK
  2. 2.Sea Mammal Research Company (SEAMARCO), Inc.HarderwijkThe Netherlands

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