Unilateral Increase of Auditory Sensitivity following Early Auditory Exposure

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Science  12 May 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4035, pp. 689-690
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4035.689


A 30-second exposure (priming) to a loud noise induced a long-lasting susceptibility to audiogenic seizures and a 15-decibel decrease in threshold to the Preyer acoustic startle reflex in C57BL/6J mice. Both effects were absent when the subjects were primed in one ear and subsequently tested in the contralateral ear. It was postulated that the primary effect of priming is an increase in auditory sensitivity due to changes in the ear itself or in those parts of the auditory system which receive their input exclusively from one ear.