The growth of hearing loss in neonatal chicks exposed to intense pure tones

James C. Saunders, Arthur J. Torsiglieri, Robert M. DeDio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


One-day-old chicks were exposed to an intense pure tone (0.9 kHz, 120 dB SPD and assigned to one of eight groups based on continuous exposure durations from 1 to 200 h. As each animal was removed from the exposure, it was anesthetized and an electrode was placed in the nucleus magnocellularis. Sound-evoked potentials were used to measure absolute thresholds and frequency selectivity. Thresholds were measured at 10 frequencies between 0.1 and 4.5 kHz while frequency selectivity was assessed by a simultaneous masking tuning-curve procedure at five probe-tone frequencies between 0.3 and 2.5 kHz. Threshold shift was greatest at 1.3 kHz and reached a maximum loss of approximately 57 dB between 48 and 200 h of exposure. The shape of the threshold-shift curve as a function of exposure duration (for frequencies between 0.9 and 2.5 KHz) suggested the presence of an early and late effect. The loss in tuning sharpness was evaluated by comparing the values of Q10 dB for control and exposed tuning curves and expressing the difference between them as a percent change. Probe-tone tuning curves above 0.9 kHz became less selective as exposure duration increased. A maximum decrease in tuning of about 54 percent was reached by 48 h and this remained constant to 200 h. The low-frequency tuning curves (below 0.9 kHz) did not show any systematic loss in selectivity. The changes in sensitivity and selectivity are discussed in relation to the patterns of cochlear injury that occurred on the basilar papilla as exposure duration lengthened.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory evoked potentials
  • Chicks
  • Frequency selectivity
  • Hair cell regeneration
  • Hearing loss
  • Overstimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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