OdiSEA: An Autonomous Portable Auditory Screening Unit for Rapid Assessment of Hearing in Cetaceans

 Abstract: The screening of marine mammals’ auditory capabilities is a vital and delicate diagnosis elaboration process. A self-configurable, compact, and portable battery-operated screening tool is now available, named OdiSEA, which enables the collection of species-related auditory characteristics and a rapid diagnosis of hearing impairment, both in controlled and field situations such as rehabilitation facilities and at stranding sites, respectively. Acoustic stimulation is achieved with a calibrated piezoelectric ceramic that transduces sound either through a gel-filled suction cup or, more conventionally, from a few meters distance to the subject in a pool. System portability and the integration of a wideband (> 150 kHz) auditory brainstem response (ABR) and multiple auditory steady-state response (multiple ASSR) evoked potentials system shortens diagnosis times significantly for both simple auditory tests and more detailed screening of auditory function. This unit should simplify and significantly accelerate the collection of audiograms in cetaceans.

Key Words: autonomous system, auditory evoked potentials, auditory steady-state response, envelope-following response 

Document Type: research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.33.1.2007.85

Page Numbers: 85 – 92

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