Document Detail

Improved auditory spatial acuity in visually deprived ferrets.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10583483     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We have examined the effects on auditory spatial acuity in the horizontal plane of depriving ferrets of patterned visual cues by binocular eyelid suture in infancy or for a comparable period in adulthood. Minimum audible angles (MAAs) were measured for 500-, 100- and 40-ms broadband noise bursts at the midline and at 45 degrees to one side. A logistic regression analysis revealed no consistent difference between the midline MAAs of normal and infant lid-sutured ferrets. However, the lateral field MAAs of the infant-deprived group were significantly smaller and showed less inter-subject variability than those of normal-sighted ferrets. The animals deprived in adulthood were tested in the lateral field only, firstly 6 months after binocular eyelid suture and again after a further 10 months. For the first test, the MAAs achieved by these animals with 500- and 100-ms noise bursts were significantly smaller than the normal values and no different from those of the infant-deprived group. A significant improvement in performance at the two shortest stimulus durations (100 and 40 ms) was observed when the adult-deprived animals were re-tested. Their second-test MAAs did not differ from those of the infant-deprived group at any of the three stimulus durations used, and both groups achieved significantly better scores than the normal-sighted control animals. These results show that prolonged visual deprivation in both juvenile and adult ferrets can lead to a significant improvement in auditory spatial acuity in the lateral sound field. This is consistent with reports that congenitally blind humans can localize peripheral sounds more accurately than normal controls.
A J King; C H Parsons
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The European journal of neuroscience     Volume:  11     ISSN:  0953-816X     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  1999 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-12-28     Completed Date:  1999-12-28     Revised Date:  2009-09-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8918110     Medline TA:  Eur J Neurosci     Country:  FRANCE    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3945-56     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
University Laboratory of Physiology, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Auditory Threshold / physiology*
Head Movements
Reaction Time
Regression Analysis
Sensory Deprivation
Sound Localization / physiology*
Visual Perception
Grant Support
//Wellcome Trust

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