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Frog’s ear canal may provide insights for understanding human hearing loss

le of hearing and responding to ultrasounds.

The scientists then measured the electrical activities in A. tormotus' midbrain that is involved in 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. (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' eardrum, as well as hair cells, the sensory cells in the inner ear that are essential for hearing, to learn how the hair cells are able to detect ultrasounds. The scientists also are interested in learning why only the males possess recessed eardrums.

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 China's State Key Basic Research and Development Plan and National Natural Sciences Foundation.


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Source:University of California - Los Angeles


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