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J Assoc Res Otolaryngol January 1, 2020; 21 (1): 33-42.

Reciprocal Matched Filtering in the Inner Ear of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis).

Cobo-Cuan A , Narins PM .

Anurans (frogs and toads) are the most vocal amphibians. In most species, only males produce advertisement calls for defending territories and attracting mates. Female vocalizations are the exceptions among frogs, however in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) both males and females produce distinct vocalizations. The matched filter hypothesis predicts a correspondence between peripheral auditory tuning of receivers and properties of species-specific acoustic signals, but few studies have assessed this relationship between the sexes. Measuring hearing sensitivity with a binaural recording of distortion product otoacoustic emissions, we have found that the ears of the males of this species are tuned to the dominant frequency of the female''s calls, whereas the ears of the females are tuned close to the dominant frequency of the male''s calls. Our findings provide support for the matched filter hypothesis extended to include male-female calling. This unique example of reciprocal matched filtering ensures that males and females communicate effectively in high levels of background noise, each sex being most sensitive to the frequencies of the other sex''s calls.

PubMed ID: 31907715
PMC ID: PMC7062955
Article link: J Assoc Res Otolaryngol
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