Effects of saccular otolith removal on hearing sensitivity of the sleeper goby (Dormitator latifrons)

Z. Lu, Z. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


It is not known to what extent the entire saccule contributes to overall hearing sensitivity in any fish species. Here we report directional and frequency sensitivity in a teleost fish (Dormitator latifrons) and effects of unilateral and bilateral removal of saccular otoliths on its hearing sensitivity. The fish had different hearing thresholds in the horizontal (-54.4 to -50.3 dB re: 1 μm) and mid-sagittal (-58.6 to-53.1 dB) planes. At 100 Hz, unilateral otolith removal did not significantly change hearing sensitivity in the mid-sagittal plane, but caused selective reductions of auditory sensitivity by 3-7 dB in the azimuthal axes that are consistent with the longitudinal axis of the damaged saccule. Along the fish's longitudinal axis, unilateral otolith removal significantly decreased auditory sensitivity at 50 Hz and 400 Hz, but not at 100 Hz, 200 Hz, and 345 Hz. At 100 Hz, bilateral otolith removal resulted in robust hearing loss of 27-35 dB at different axes in both horizontal and mid-sagittal planes. Along the fish's longitudinal axis, the bilateral removal reduced auditory sensitivity by 13-27 dB at the different frequencies. Therefore, these results demonstrate that the saccule plays important roles in directional hearing and frequency responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002


  • Ear
  • Fish
  • Otolithic organ
  • Saccule
  • Sound localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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