Navigation Links
Researcher finds gender differences in seasonal auditory changes
Date:12/10/2012

ATLANTA Auditory systems differ between sexes in sparrows depending on the season, a Georgia State University neuroscientist has found. The work adds to our knowledge of how the parts of the nervous system, including that of humans, are able to change.

Megan Gall, a post-doctoral researcher with Georgia State's Neuroscience Institute, tested the peripheral auditory systems of male and female house sparrows, comparing the hearing of each gender during non-breeding seasons and breeding seasons.

Gall measured frequency selectivity the ability to tell sounds that are close in frequency apart, and temporal resolution, the ability to tell sounds apart that are very close together in time.

"We found that males have the same frequency selectivity and temporal resolution across breeding seasons," Gall said. "In the fall, males and females aren't different. But in the breeding season, females had better frequency selectivity, but this came at the expense of worse temporal resolution."

The study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British scientific journal.

The difference shows "plasticity," the ability to change, she said. Plasticity is an important concept in neuroscience, as scientists have increasingly been able to show that neurological systems have the ability to change.

Gall said the work shows, for the first time, that there's seasonal plasticity in these properties in the periphery of the auditory system, the ear and the auditory nerve, not just inside the parts of the brain that control auditory function.

Similar changes happen in humans, she said. Women show different auditory sensitivities during the course of a menstrual cycle.

"I always like to say that if your husband says he can't hear you, it may be that he can't. His auditory system is different than yours," Gall said.

The changes might have evolved over time for different reasons, she said, with one reason being that it is harder for the body to maintain a certain kind of tissues involved in hearing.

"In the ear, there are huge electrical gradients between the hair cells and the fluid that's bathing the hair cells in the ear, and that's expensive to maintain," she said. "Another possible reason is that there are other stimuli that you are concerned about during the non-breeding season.

"These birds live in an environment where it gets cold, it's hard to find food and they make calls that tell other individuals where that food is. So everybody wants to hear the call in the same way so that they all respond to that signal."

Alarm calls, warnings that a predator or predators are coming, might also require different kinds of auditory processing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeremy Craig
jcraig@gsu.edu
404-413-1357
Georgia State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find new genetic pathway behind neurodevelopmental disorders
2. Researchers investigate impacts of climate change on rare tropical plants
3. Researchers identify proteins that indicate which kidney tumors are most likely to spread
4. Microchoreography: Researchers use synthetic molecule to guide cellular dance
5. Einstein researchers receive 2 Grand Challenges Explorations grants to combat HIV and TB
6. University of Tennessee researchers find fungus has cancer-fighting power
7. UC Davis researchers aid effort to sequence the complex wheat genome
8. UF researcher tests powerful new tool to advance ecology, conservation
9. Joslin researchers increase understanding of genetic risk factor for type 1 diabetes
10. Fracking in Michigan: U-M researchers study potential impact on health, environment, economy
11. NREL researchers use imaging technologies to solve puzzle of plant architecture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is ... of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... March 20, 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor ... biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with ... this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the ... fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March ... Made Simple," and 23andMe , the leading personal ... food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers with personalized ... health goals and biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting ... Zipongo,s personalized food decision support platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , March 22, 2017 ... announced that it has eclipsed the 130 million covered ... Cross Blue Shield of Texas . ... stages, the Company continues to enjoy strong payor acceptance ... of its clinical programs and genetic counseling, its industry-leading ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , March 22, 2017   ... collections, today announced that Doctors Pathology Service ... mid-Atlantic region of the United States ... the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) to ... researchers. The novel program, announced in ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com ... ... cancer conditions are being pressured as of late due to ... cancer pain management has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality ... and development activities for identifying new forms of opioid formulations ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... --  Boston Biomedical , an industry leader in the ... stemness pathways, today announced its Board of Directors has ... Officer, effective April 24, 2017. Ms. ... FACP, who has led Boston Biomedical since he founded ... Biomedical has grown from a "garage startup" without technology ...
Breaking Biology Technology: