Preferred Name

Anna Eudora Louthan

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Lincoln C. Gray

Christopher G. Clinard

Mark Gabriele


Both hearing and somatosensation are sensory responses to vibrations, and here we show a way to investigate such mechanoreceptive psychophysics alone and in combination. Pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) is a well-known, unconditioned, and reflexive technique for measuring sensory thresholds with a wide variety of stimuli and laboratory animals. In this paper, we explore interactions between auditory and somatosensory PPI in normal mice. Fifteen C57/BL6J mice were tested three times each. Ages varied between one and six months. Testing followed published procedures from our lab and others, except the pre-pulses were auditory, somatosensory (vibration of the test chamber), or both. The auditory pre-pulse was an 80 dB SPL broadband noise of 4, 9, 25, or 45 ms duration. Vibrations were of the same duration but different frequencies (500, 460, 360, and 220 Hz respectively). Results show expected auditory responsiveness increasing with duration. There were statistically significant responses to some but not all vibrotactile stimuli. Multimodal responses were approximately additive; the responses to combined auditory and vibratory stimuli were approximately the sum of responses to each stimulus alone (no significant interaction). There is a greater increase with age in the responses to somatosensory than to auditory stimuli. This study provides a behavioral paradigm to assess functional consequences of somatosensory/auditory interactions in mice.



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