Heeding the Hormonal Call

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Science  16 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5682, pp. 349-350
DOI: 10.1126/science.1101134

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Biologists have long been puzzled by an apparent mismatch between the sensitivity of the auditory system of the female midshipman fish to courtship vocalizations by the male. In his Perspective, Zakon reveals that the sensitivity of the female's auditory system is tuned by the steroid hormone estrogen so that the female is most responsive to male mating calls during the mating season ( Sisneros et al.).