The preponderance of our knowledge concerning hearing in the Cetacea has come from psychophysical studies. The most widely used alternative to psychophysical studies are neurophysiological studies utilizing auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). Due in part to the hypertrophy of auditory structures exhibited by the Cetacea, AEPS are highly robust and rapidly and easily obtained. Moreover, because AEPS reflect the synchronized activity of large neuronal assemblies, they offer a high level window onto auditory processing and allow for across-species comparison of responses.
Recent studies utilizing AEP techniques have demonstrated that the cetaceans have extremely high temporal resolution with integration times in the order of 300 msec. Remarkably, these animals also exhibit extremely sharp frequency tuning with auditory filters having Q10 of 20-30
cetaceans, auditory evoked potentials, temporal integration, frequency resolution, hearing