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Research at St Andrews

Underwater equal-latency contours of a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) for tonal signals between 0.5 and 125 kHz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Paul Jacobus Wensveen, Léonie A E Huijser, Lean Hoek, Ronald A. Kastelein

School/Research organisations


Loudness perception can be studied based on the assumption that sounds of equal loudness elicit equal reaction time (RT; or “response latency”). We measured the underwater RTs of a harbor porpoise to narrowband frequency-modulated sounds and constructed six equal-latency contours. The contours paralleled the audiogram at low sensation levels (high RTs). At high-sensation levels, contours flattened between 0.5 and 31.5 kHz but dropped substantially (RTs shortened) beyond those frequencies. This study suggests that equal-latency-based frequency weighting can emulate noise perception in porpoises for low and middle frequencies but that the RT-loudness correlation is relatively weak for very high frequencies.



Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)00652598
ISSN (Electronic)22148019

    Research areas

  • Auditory weighting, Loudness, Noise effects, Odontocetes, Reaction time

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