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The harmonic structure of sounds is an important grouping cue in auditory scene analysis. The ability of ferrets to detect mistuned harmonics was measured using a go/no-go task paradigm. Psychometric functions plotting sensitivity as a function of degree of mistuning were used to evaluate behavioral performance using signal detection theory. The mean (± standard error of the mean) threshold for mistuning detection was 0.8 ± 0.1 Hz, with sensitivity indices and reaction times depending on the degree of mistuning. These data provide a basis for investigation of the neural basis for the perception of complex sounds in ferrets, an increasingly used animal model in auditory research.


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