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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A behavioral test of presbycusis in the bird auditory system.

Absolute auditory thresholds were determined behaviorally in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) between the age of 6 months and up to 13 years using a GO/NOGO procedure. The thresholds that we observed in individual starlings over a time period of 11 years showed no systematic increase over time. When comparing young starlings (age 6 to 12 months) with old starlings (age 8 to 13 years), we discovered no substantial age-related hearing loss. In the frequency range from 0.5 to 4 kHz, the thresholds of old subjects were on average increased by 1.5 to 3 dB. For frequencies of 6 and 8 kHz, the mean threshold increase of old subjects was 6.1 and 4.9 dB, respectively. This demonstrates excellent hearing in subjects that had lived on average more than five times the starlings' demographic life span of 22 months. This result is discussed with respect to the large threshold shift usually found in aging mammals and to differences between the bird and the mammalian auditory system.[1]


  1. A behavioral test of presbycusis in the bird auditory system. Langemann, U., Hamann, I., Friebe, A. Hear. Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
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