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Transient "Deafness" Accompanies Auditory Development during Metamorphosis from Tadpole to Frog

Seth S. Boatright-Horowitz and Andrea Megela Simmons
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 94, No. 26 (Dec. 23, 1997), pp. 14877-14882
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43712
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Transient "Deafness" Accompanies Auditory Development during Metamorphosis from Tadpole to Frog
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Abstract

During metamorphosis, ranid frogs shift from a purely aquatic to a partly terrestrial lifestyle. The central auditory system undergoes functional and neuroanatomical reorganization in parallel with the development of new sound conduction pathways adapted for the detection of airborne sounds. Neural responses to sounds can be recorded from the auditory midbrain of tadpoles shortly after hatching, with higher rates of synchronous neural activity and lower sharpness of tuning than observed in postmetamorphic animals. Shortly before the onset of metamorphic climax, there is a brief "deaf" period during which no auditory activity can be evoked from the midbrain, and a loss of connectivity is observed between medullary and midbrain auditory nuclei. During the final stages of metamorphic development, auditory function and neural connectivity are restored. The acoustic communication system of the adult frog emerges from these periods of anatomical and physiological plasticity during metamorphosis.

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