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Critical ratios in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) for tonal signals between 0.315 and 150 kHz in random Gaussian white noise

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Author(s)

Ronald A. Kastelein, Paul J. Wensveen, Lean Hoek, Whitlow W L Au, John M. Terhune, Christ A F De Jong

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Abstract

A psychoacoustic behavioral technique was used to determine the critical ratios (CRs) of two harbor porpoises for tonal signals with frequencies between 0.315 and 150 kHz, in random Gaussian white noise. The masked 50% detection hearing thresholds were measured using a "go/no-go" response paradigm and an up-down staircase psychometric method. CRs were determined at one masking noise level for each test frequency and were similar in both animals. For signals between 0.315 and 4 kHz, the CRs were relatively constant at around 18 dB. Between 4 and 150 kHz the CR increased gradually from 18 to 39 dB (∼3.3 dB/octave). Generally harbor porpoises can detect tonal signals in Gaussian white noise slightly better than most odontocetes tested so far. By combining the mean CRs found in the present study with the spectrum level of the background noise levels at sea, the basic audiogram, and the directivity index, the detection threshold levels of harbor porpoises for tonal signals in various sea states can be calculated.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1588-1597
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume126
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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