Behavioral detection of acoustic particle motion by a teleost fish (Astronotus ocellatus): Sensitivity and directionality

Z. Lu, A. N. Popper, R. R. Fay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Behavioral detection thresholds for oscars (Astronotus ocellatus) were measured in response to linear, oscillatory motion at 100 Hz along seven axes (90, -60, -30, 0, +30, and +60 in azimuth, where 0 is the fish longitudinal axis; and the vertical axis) using a cardiac classical conditioning paradigm. Thresholds at all selected axes ranged from -58 to - 56 dB re: 1 μm, which corresponds to 1.2 to 1.6 nm displacement (RMS). Thus, oscars appear to be equally sensitive to stimulation at all axes in three dimensional space. Behavioral thresholds of the oscar are close to the neural thresholds obtained from the most sensitive auditory nerve fibers in two other species, the goldfish (Carassius auratus) and the toadfish (Opsanus tau).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology - A Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes



  • Cardiac conditioning paradigm
  • Directional sensitivity
  • Fish
  • Hearing
  • Sound localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)

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