Sex differences in both vocalization and auditory processing have been commonly found in vocal animals, although the underlying neural mechanisms associated with sexual dimorphism of auditory processing are not well understood. In this study we investigated whether auditory perception exhibits sexual dimorphism in Xenopus laevis. To do this we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) evoked by white noise (WN) and conspecific calls in the telencephalon, diencephalon and mesencephalon respectively. Results showed that (1) the N1 amplitudes evoked in the right telencephalon and right diencephalon of males by WN are significantly different from those evoked in females; (2) in males the N1 amplitudes evoked by conspecific calls are significantly different from those evoked by WN; (3) in females the N1 amplitude for the left mesencephalon was significantly lower than for other brain areas, while the P2 and P3 amplitudes for the right mesencephalon were the smallest; in contrast these amplitudes for the left mesencephalon were the smallest in males. These results suggest auditory perception is sexually dimorphic. Moreover, the amplitude of each ERP component (N1, P2 and P3) for the left telencephalon was the largest in females and/or males, suggesting that left telencephalic dominance exists for auditory perception in Xenopus.
Fan, Y., Yue, X., Xue, F., Cui, J., Brauth, S. E., Tang, Y., & Fang, G. (2018). Auditory perception exhibits sexual dimorphism and left telencephalic dominance in Xenopus laevis. Biology Open, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.035956