Age‐related and noise‐induced hearing loss alters grasshopper mouse (Onychomys) vocalizations

Anastasiya Kobrina, Mahendra Kumar Hidau, Tobias Riede, O'neil W. Guthrie, Bret Pasch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Age-related and noise-induced hearing loss disorders are among the most common pathologies affecting Americans across their lifespans. Loss of auditory feedback due to hearing disorders is correlated with changes in voice and speech-motor control in humans. Although rodents are increasingly used to model human age- and noise-induced hearing loss, few studies have assessed vocal changes after acoustic trauma. Northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) represent a candidate model because their hearing sensitivity is matched to the frequencies of long-distance vocalizations that are produced using vocal fold vibrations similar to human speech. In this study, we quantified changes in auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and vocalizations related to aging and noise-induced acoustic trauma. Mice showed a progressive decrease in hearing sensitivity across 4–32 kHz, with males losing hearing more rapidly than females. In addition, noise-exposed mice had a 61.55 dB SPL decrease in ABR sensitivity following a noise exposure, with some individuals exhibiting a 21.25 dB recovery 300–330 days after noise exposure. We also found that older grasshopper mice produced calls with lower fundamental frequency. Sex differences were measured in duration of calls with females producing longer calls with age. Our findings indicate that grasshopper mice experience age- and noise- induced hearing loss and concomitant changes in vocal output, making them a promising model for hearing and communication disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108210
JournalHearing Research
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Aging
  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Hearing loss
  • Noise exposure
  • Vocal production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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