Hair cells, hearing and hopping: a field guide to hair cell physiology in the frog. Academic Article uri icon


  • For more than four decades, hearing in frogs has been an important source of information for those interested in auditory neuroscience, neuroethology and the evolution of hearing. Individual features of the frog auditory system can be found represented in one or many of the other vertebrate classes, but collectively the frog inner ear represents a cornucopia of evolutionary experiments in acoustic signal processing. The mechano-sensitive hair cell, as the focal point of transduction, figures critically in the encoding of acoustic information in the afferent auditory nerve. In this review, we provide a short description of how auditory signals are encoded by the specialized anatomy and physiology of the frog inner ear and examine the role of hair cell physiology and its influence on the encoding of sound in the frog auditory nerve. We hope to demonstrate that acoustic signal processing in frogs may offer insights into the evolution and biology of hearing not only in amphibians but also in reptiles, birds and mammals, including man.

author list (cited authors)

  • Smotherman, M. S., & Narins, P. M.

citation count

  • 112

complete list of authors

  • Smotherman, MS||Narins, PM

publication date

  • January 2000