Determination of the vibration sensitivity of harbour seal Phoca vitulina (L.) vibrissae

Frederick H.J. Mills and Deane Renouf
Department of Psychology and Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NF, Canada A I C 3X9
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Vol. 100, 3 - 9. 1986
Abstract: Psychophysical techniques were employed to measure the sensitivity of harbour seal vibrissae to sinusoidal vibrations ranging between 100 and 2500 Hz. A control test ensured that the seal was not responding to auditory or other components of the signal. Vibration detection thresholds were found to decrease with frequency up to 1000 Hz and remain relatively constant thereafter. These data are unlike the U-shaped threshold curve typical of other tactile systems and support the preliminary measurements already reported.

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