Frequency Response of the Swim Bladder and Weberian Ossicles of Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)
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In recent years, the use of zebrafish as human disease models has been expanded to include several forms of human deafness. Zebrafish provide convenient hosts for genetic and developmental investigation. However, knowledge of the physical mechanism of zebrafish “hearing” is limited compared to other current models and human physiology. Examining the frequency response of the swim bladder and Weberian ossicles would allow the development of a mechanical understanding of the ear and comparison to the human middle ear. The swim bladder and Weberian ossicles are believed to transmit sound stimuli and give zebrafish the ability to determine an extended frequency range, as “hearing specialists,” among fish species. In order to understand the ability of the structures to function as a sound transducer, the frequency response of the structures was measured through phase-sensitive OCT. The anterior swim bladder and Weberian ossicles were visualized via magnitude OCT and data collected along a line through the surface and ROIs. The displacement of the structures in the presence of a sound stimulus suggested coupling of the acoustic energy through the tissue to the anterior swim bladder and to the fourth Weberian ossicle. A tuning response on the anterior swim bladder revealed an increase in vibration magnitude with decreasing frequency stimuli and increasing sound intensity. Danio rerio hears over a range of 100-4000 kHz. However owing to limitations in the current experimental system, we were only able to investigate in the range of 2500-4000 kHz.
Wisniowiecki, Anna Marie (2015). Frequency Response of the Swim Bladder and Weberian Ossicles of Zebrafish (Danio Rerio). Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from