The overall objective of the proposed experiments is to examine the behavioral abilities of mice to hear in several listening situations. We will test the detection of simple sounds in quiet, the monaural temporal resolution acuity, and binaural sound localization accuracy. Once reliable behavioral paradigms are established for normal mice, these same measures will be taken on mice lacking the voltage-gated potassium channel subunit Kv1.1. Both in vivo and in vitro physiological studies on these Kcna1 knockout mice suggest that these animals should have normal hearing capabilities for detecting pure tones in quiet, but should have poor temporal resolution. Whether this temporal resolution will manifest itself in both monaural and binaural temporal processing situations is unknown, so both will be measured. Although physiological studies comparing knockouts to wild-type mice are important, they do not tell us how the whole, awake, behaving animal is affected. The experiments proposed here will reveal any type of deficit that may be seen in mice lacking a completely normally-functioning auditory system. These experiments will establish a reliable method for testing auditory behavior in mice that can be used for both normal subjects and for those with abnormal auditory functioning. Mice lacking the gene Kcna1, a mutation linked to epilepsy, stress-induced ataxia, and chronic muscle twitching in humans, show abnormal physiological responses to auditory stimuli. It is unknown, however, how this affects the 'real world'listening situation of these animals, so this will be determined here.
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