Researchers at Cornell University have discovered how a fish found along the West Coast can hum and hear outside sounds at the same time!!.
In an endeavor to find difficult cures for diseases can sometimes lead scientist to look the way animals of different kingdom function and in this case the understanding may eventually be able to help in finding a cure for deafness.
For the first time scientists have found that there exists a direct line of communication between the part of brain that controls the vocal muscle system and the part of the ear that hears sound in a fish found along the coastline from Alaska to California. This insight it is hoped will help in understanding of how humans hear. As the study indicates a relationship between the ear and the auditory and vocalization systems of the brain, it could further help scientists to understand some of the mechanisms that contribute to deafness.
Andrew Bass, Professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell and an author of the study published in the June 22 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience said:"We've studied so many things about these fish, and I never cease to be amazed by how similar the operation of their nervous system is to that of mammals, y don't need to study a mammal to understand what a mammal does."
"Hearing loss is a major pathology that humans deal with," said Bass. "And we don't understand that mechanism very well. Observing what these neurons do may offer insights into what leads to hearing deficits."
Only a few fish vocalize, but male plainfin midshipman fish hum to attract a mate or grunt when stressed. During the mating season, houseboat owners in San Francisco Bay have often complained about their homes vibrating from the humming fish, which sometimes can sound like a high-speed motor running underwater.