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Auditory feedback modulates development of kitten vocalizations.

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

Bottom Line: The voiced isolation calls ('meow') were further analyzed.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

Analysis of the structure of individual vocalizations. a Fundamental frequency was lower in deaf cats. b The maximum fundamental frequency differed only between hearing-impaired and deaf cats. c The latency from vocalization onset when the maximum F0 is reached was higher in deaf cats. d The latency from onset of vocalization when the maximum harmonic ratio was reached was longer in deaf cats. e Harmonic ratio was highest in deaf cats and hearing-impaired and normal-hearing cats did not differ with regard to this measure. Furthermore, the maximum harmonic ratio (f) and the harmonic ratio at the maximum F0 (g) was highest in deaf cats. Finally, the harmonic ratio (quantified as standard deviation) was more variable in deaf cats (h). Two-tailed t test. *∼ p < 0.05; **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001
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Fig6: Analysis of the structure of individual vocalizations. a Fundamental frequency was lower in deaf cats. b The maximum fundamental frequency differed only between hearing-impaired and deaf cats. c The latency from vocalization onset when the maximum F0 is reached was higher in deaf cats. d The latency from onset of vocalization when the maximum harmonic ratio was reached was longer in deaf cats. e Harmonic ratio was highest in deaf cats and hearing-impaired and normal-hearing cats did not differ with regard to this measure. Furthermore, the maximum harmonic ratio (f) and the harmonic ratio at the maximum F0 (g) was highest in deaf cats. Finally, the harmonic ratio (quantified as standard deviation) was more variable in deaf cats (h). Two-tailed t test. *∼ p < 0.05; **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001

Mentions: To analyze whether also the acoustic structure was changed by absence of hearing, several parameters were quantified in the isolation calls, starting with mean F0, maximum F0 and latency of maximum of F0. Firstly, the grand means from all sessions were compared once again. Mean F0 was significantly smaller in deaf cats than in the other groups (Fig. 6a), whereas the difference in maximum F0 was less well expressed (Fig. 6b). The time (i.e., latency) of the maximum value of F0 did not differ between the animal groups (Fig. 6c). Since developmental changes in F0 may be a simple reflection of the anatomical situation in the vocalization apparatus (i.e., growth during development), they are mainly determined by maturation of peripheral factors. For this reason, the harmonic ratio, i.e., F1/F0, was additionally calculated and analyzed. This should be less affected by the growth of the vocalization apparatus. Congenitally deaf cats had a larger latency of maximal harmonic ratio (Fig. 6d). Furthermore, both the mean and the maximum F1/F0 harmonic ratio of the hearing-impaired animals was not significantly different from hearing controls but the deaf cats had a significantly higher harmonic ratio (Fig. 6e, f). The harmonic ratio at the time of maximum F0 was also larger in deaf cats (Fig. 6g). Finally, we noted a significant increase in the variability of vocalizations in deaf cats, reflected in the greater variability of the harmonic ratio (Fig. 6h). Altogether, in terms of harmonic ratio, the deaf cats significantly differed from the other two groups, whereas hearing-impaired animals were similar to hearing controls.Fig. 6


Auditory feedback modulates development of kitten vocalizations.

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

Analysis of the structure of individual vocalizations. a Fundamental frequency was lower in deaf cats. b The maximum fundamental frequency differed only between hearing-impaired and deaf cats. c The latency from vocalization onset when the maximum F0 is reached was higher in deaf cats. d The latency from onset of vocalization when the maximum harmonic ratio was reached was longer in deaf cats. e Harmonic ratio was highest in deaf cats and hearing-impaired and normal-hearing cats did not differ with regard to this measure. Furthermore, the maximum harmonic ratio (f) and the harmonic ratio at the maximum F0 (g) was highest in deaf cats. Finally, the harmonic ratio (quantified as standard deviation) was more variable in deaf cats (h). Two-tailed t test. *∼ p < 0.05; **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4487352&req=5

Fig6: Analysis of the structure of individual vocalizations. a Fundamental frequency was lower in deaf cats. b The maximum fundamental frequency differed only between hearing-impaired and deaf cats. c The latency from vocalization onset when the maximum F0 is reached was higher in deaf cats. d The latency from onset of vocalization when the maximum harmonic ratio was reached was longer in deaf cats. e Harmonic ratio was highest in deaf cats and hearing-impaired and normal-hearing cats did not differ with regard to this measure. Furthermore, the maximum harmonic ratio (f) and the harmonic ratio at the maximum F0 (g) was highest in deaf cats. Finally, the harmonic ratio (quantified as standard deviation) was more variable in deaf cats (h). Two-tailed t test. *∼ p < 0.05; **∼ p < 0.01; ***∼ p < 0.001
Mentions: To analyze whether also the acoustic structure was changed by absence of hearing, several parameters were quantified in the isolation calls, starting with mean F0, maximum F0 and latency of maximum of F0. Firstly, the grand means from all sessions were compared once again. Mean F0 was significantly smaller in deaf cats than in the other groups (Fig. 6a), whereas the difference in maximum F0 was less well expressed (Fig. 6b). The time (i.e., latency) of the maximum value of F0 did not differ between the animal groups (Fig. 6c). Since developmental changes in F0 may be a simple reflection of the anatomical situation in the vocalization apparatus (i.e., growth during development), they are mainly determined by maturation of peripheral factors. For this reason, the harmonic ratio, i.e., F1/F0, was additionally calculated and analyzed. This should be less affected by the growth of the vocalization apparatus. Congenitally deaf cats had a larger latency of maximal harmonic ratio (Fig. 6d). Furthermore, both the mean and the maximum F1/F0 harmonic ratio of the hearing-impaired animals was not significantly different from hearing controls but the deaf cats had a significantly higher harmonic ratio (Fig. 6e, f). The harmonic ratio at the time of maximum F0 was also larger in deaf cats (Fig. 6g). Finally, we noted a significant increase in the variability of vocalizations in deaf cats, reflected in the greater variability of the harmonic ratio (Fig. 6h). Altogether, in terms of harmonic ratio, the deaf cats significantly differed from the other two groups, whereas hearing-impaired animals were similar to hearing controls.Fig. 6

Bottom Line: The voiced isolation calls ('meow') were further analyzed.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