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Auditory feedback modulates development of kitten vocalizations.

Hubka P, Konerding W, Kral A - Cell Tissue Res. (2014)

Bottom Line: In total, 13,874 vocalizations were analyzed using an automated procedure.The fundamental frequency decreased with age in all groups, most likely due to maturation of the vocal apparatus.Auditory feedback thus affects the acoustic structure of vocalizations and their ontogenetic development.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of AudioNeuroTechnology and Department of Experimental Otology, ENT Clinics, Cluster of Excellence 'Hearing4all', Hannover Medical School, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 35, 30175, Hannover, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Effects of hearing loss on vocal behavior are species-specific. To study the impact of auditory feedback on feline vocal behavior, vocalizations of normal-hearing, hearing-impaired (white) and congenitally deaf (white) cats were analyzed at around weaning age. Eleven animals were placed in a soundproof booth for 30 min at different ages, from the first to the beginning of the fourth postnatal month, every 2 weeks of life. In total, 13,874 vocalizations were analyzed using an automated procedure. Firstly, vocalizations were detected and segmented, with voiced and unvoiced vocalizations being differentiated. The voiced isolation calls ('meow') were further analyzed. These vocalizations showed developmental changes affecting several parameters in hearing controls, whereas the developmental sequence was delayed in congenitally deaf cats. In hearing-impaired and deaf animals, we observed differences both in vocal behavior (loudness and duration) and in the calls' acoustic structure (fundamental frequency and higher harmonics). The fundamental frequency decreased with age in all groups, most likely due to maturation of the vocal apparatus. In deaf cats, however, other aspects of the acoustic structure of the vocalizations did not fully mature. The harmonic ratio (i.e., frequency of first harmonic divided by fundamental frequency) was higher and more variable in deaf cats than in the other study groups. Auditory feedback thus affects the acoustic structure of vocalizations and their ontogenetic development. The study suggests that both the vocal apparatus and its neuronal motor control are subject to maturational processes, whereas the latter is additionally dependent on auditory feedback in cats.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Developmental changes in vocalization characteristics show an increase in vocalization duration with age in hearing controls (a) but no systematic change in hearing- impaired and deaf cats. The mean level decreased systematically from 1.5 months onwards in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired animals but deaf cats demonstrated a different developmental pattern (b). Two-tailed t test. **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001
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Fig5: Developmental changes in vocalization characteristics show an increase in vocalization duration with age in hearing controls (a) but no systematic change in hearing- impaired and deaf cats. The mean level decreased systematically from 1.5 months onwards in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired animals but deaf cats demonstrated a different developmental pattern (b). Two-tailed t test. **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001

Mentions: Next, the developmental pattern of the call properties was analyzed. This involved generating age-related statistics within groups. The number of vocalizations did not differ between the three investigated groups at any age (data not shown; p > 0.05). However, the developmental pattern of vocalization duration differed between the groups. Hearing animals showed increasing call duration with increasing age (Fig. 5a). None of the other groups exhibited such a pattern; rather, they showed nonsystematic variation in duration with age. This indicates that hearing loss has affected the developmental sequence of vocalization behavior. Interestingly, hearing kittens exhibited shorter vocalizations than deaf cats at 1 and 1.5 months (p < 0.001). The difference, however, was not significant at 2 months (p = 0.103) and reversed at 3 months, when hearing cats had longer vocalizations than deaf cats (p < 0.001).Fig. 5


Auditory feedback modulates development of kitten vocalizations.

Hubka P, Konerding W, Kral A - Cell Tissue Res. (2014)

Developmental changes in vocalization characteristics show an increase in vocalization duration with age in hearing controls (a) but no systematic change in hearing- impaired and deaf cats. The mean level decreased systematically from 1.5 months onwards in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired animals but deaf cats demonstrated a different developmental pattern (b). Two-tailed t test. **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4487352&req=5

Fig5: Developmental changes in vocalization characteristics show an increase in vocalization duration with age in hearing controls (a) but no systematic change in hearing- impaired and deaf cats. The mean level decreased systematically from 1.5 months onwards in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired animals but deaf cats demonstrated a different developmental pattern (b). Two-tailed t test. **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001
Mentions: Next, the developmental pattern of the call properties was analyzed. This involved generating age-related statistics within groups. The number of vocalizations did not differ between the three investigated groups at any age (data not shown; p > 0.05). However, the developmental pattern of vocalization duration differed between the groups. Hearing animals showed increasing call duration with increasing age (Fig. 5a). None of the other groups exhibited such a pattern; rather, they showed nonsystematic variation in duration with age. This indicates that hearing loss has affected the developmental sequence of vocalization behavior. Interestingly, hearing kittens exhibited shorter vocalizations than deaf cats at 1 and 1.5 months (p < 0.001). The difference, however, was not significant at 2 months (p = 0.103) and reversed at 3 months, when hearing cats had longer vocalizations than deaf cats (p < 0.001).Fig. 5

Bottom Line: In total, 13,874 vocalizations were analyzed using an automated procedure.The fundamental frequency decreased with age in all groups, most likely due to maturation of the vocal apparatus.Auditory feedback thus affects the acoustic structure of vocalizations and their ontogenetic development.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of AudioNeuroTechnology and Department of Experimental Otology, ENT Clinics, Cluster of Excellence 'Hearing4all', Hannover Medical School, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 35, 30175, Hannover, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Effects of hearing loss on vocal behavior are species-specific. To study the impact of auditory feedback on feline vocal behavior, vocalizations of normal-hearing, hearing-impaired (white) and congenitally deaf (white) cats were analyzed at around weaning age. Eleven animals were placed in a soundproof booth for 30 min at different ages, from the first to the beginning of the fourth postnatal month, every 2 weeks of life. In total, 13,874 vocalizations were analyzed using an automated procedure. Firstly, vocalizations were detected and segmented, with voiced and unvoiced vocalizations being differentiated. The voiced isolation calls ('meow') were further analyzed. These vocalizations showed developmental changes affecting several parameters in hearing controls, whereas the developmental sequence was delayed in congenitally deaf cats. In hearing-impaired and deaf animals, we observed differences both in vocal behavior (loudness and duration) and in the calls' acoustic structure (fundamental frequency and higher harmonics). The fundamental frequency decreased with age in all groups, most likely due to maturation of the vocal apparatus. In deaf cats, however, other aspects of the acoustic structure of the vocalizations did not fully mature. The harmonic ratio (i.e., frequency of first harmonic divided by fundamental frequency) was higher and more variable in deaf cats than in the other study groups. Auditory feedback thus affects the acoustic structure of vocalizations and their ontogenetic development. The study suggests that both the vocal apparatus and its neuronal motor control are subject to maturational processes, whereas the latter is additionally dependent on auditory feedback in cats.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus