Section 5
Chapter 4,799

Auditory sensitivity of the redwing blackbird agelaius phoeniceus and brown headed cowbird molothrus ater

Hienz, R.D.; Sinnott, J.M.; Sachs, M.B.

Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 91(6): 1365-1376


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9940
DOI: 10.1037/h0077403
Accession: 004798459

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Auditory sensitivity of redwing blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds was measured with 3 behavioral procedures. In the 1st, a go-left-go-right procedure, a bird initiated a trial by pecking a center key; a tone was presented with 50% probability on each trial. A bird was rewarded with grain for pecking a right or left key, depending on whether a tone was present or not. In the 2nd, a go-no-go procedure, a bird pecked the center key continuously until a 2-s tone sounded; reinforcement then occurred if the bird pecked the right-side key during the tone. In the 3rd, a modified go-no-go procedure, clearly audible tones were inserted into the regular go-no-go procedure whenever near-threshold tones were missed. All procedures produced similar thresholds for both redwings and cowbirds; hearing encompassed the range from 125 Hz to 10 kHz, with lowest thresholds of 4-20 dB (SPL [sound pressure level]) in the 2-4 kHz range. Two pigeon control subjects gave stable thresholds only under the modified go-no-go procedure.

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