An important aspect of the analysis of auditory " scenes" relates to the perceptual organization of sound sequences into auditory " streams." In this study, we adapted two auditory perception tasks, used in recent human psychophysical studies, to obtain behavioral measures of auditory streaming in ferrets (Mustela putorius). One task involved the detection of shifts in the frequency of tones within an alternating tone sequence. The other task involved the detection of a stream of regularly repeating target tones embedded within a randomly varying multitone background. In both tasks, performance was measured as a function of various stimulus parameters, which previous psychophysical studies in humans have shown to influence auditory streaming. Ferret performance in the two tasks was found to vary as a function of these parameters in a way that is qualitatively consistent with the human data. These results suggest that auditory streaming occurs in ferrets, and that the two tasks described here may provide a valuable tool in future behavioral and neurophysiological studies of the phenomenon.
- Auditory perception
- Frequency discrimination