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Scientists discover reason behind ear canal in Chinese frog: Ultrasonic communication

sound processing and found marked electrical responses to sounds extending into the ultrasonic range both in the averaged response of a population of nerve cells in the brain and in single nerve cells confirming the frog's capacity for hearing ultrasounds. (Interestingly, a different species that lives in similar environments also demonstrated an ability to hear ultrasounds.)

The next steps for the researchers will be to study A. tormotus's eardrum, as well as hair cells, the sensory cells in the inner ear that are essential for hearing, to learn how they are able to detect ultrasounds. They also are interested in learning why only the males possess recessed eardrums while the females do not.

Other researchers involved in the study represent the Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Institutes of Biology Sciences and Institute of Biophysics. Additional funding sources for the study include the National Science Foundation and China's State Key Basic Research and Development Plan and National Natural Sciences Foundation.


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Contact: Jennifer Wenger
jwenger@mail.nih.gov
301-496-7243
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
15-Mar-2006


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