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      Acoustic Noise Induces Attention Shifts and Reduces Foraging Performance in Three-Spined Sticklebacks ( Gasterosteus aculeatus)

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      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          Acoustic noise is known to have a variety of detrimental effects on many animals, including humans, but surprisingly little is known about its impacts on foraging behaviour, despite the obvious potential consequences for survival and reproductive success. We therefore exposed captive three-spined sticklebacks ( Gasterosteus aculeatus) to brief and prolonged noise to investigate how foraging performance is affected by the addition of acoustic noise to an otherwise quiet environment. The addition of noise induced only mild fear-related behaviours - there was an increase in startle responses, but no change in the time spent freezing or hiding compared to a silent control - and thus had no significant impact on the total amount of food eaten. However, there was strong evidence that the addition of noise increased food-handling errors and reduced discrimination between food and non-food items, results that are consistent with a shift in attention. Consequently, noise resulted in decreased foraging efficiency, with more attacks needed to consume the same number of prey items. Our results suggest that acoustic noise has the potential to influence a whole host of everyday activities through effects on attention, and that even very brief noise exposure can cause functionally significant impacts, emphasising the threat posed by ever-increasing levels of anthropogenic noise in the environment.

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          Most cited references 21

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          The costs of chronic noise exposure for terrestrial organisms.

          Growth in transportation networks, resource extraction, motorized recreation and urban development is responsible for chronic noise exposure in most terrestrial areas, including remote wilderness sites. Increased noise levels reduce the distance and area over which acoustic signals can be perceived by animals. Here, we review a broad range of findings that indicate the potential severity of this threat to diverse taxa, and recent studies that document substantial changes in foraging and anti-predator behavior, reproductive success, density and community structure in response to noise. Effective management of protected areas must include noise assessment, and research is needed to further quantify the ecological consequences of chronic noise exposure in terrestrial environments.
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            The concept of allostasis in biology and biomedicine.

             B McEwen,  C Wingfield (2002)
            Living organisms have regular patterns and routines that involve obtaining food and carrying out life history stages such as breeding, migrating, molting, and hibernating. The acquisition, utilization, and storage of energy reserves (and other resources) are critical to lifetime reproductive success. There are also responses to predictable changes, e.g., seasonal, and unpredictable challenges, i.e., storms and natural disasters. Social organization in many populations provides advantages through cooperation in providing basic necessities and beneficial social support. But there are disadvantages owing to conflict in social hierarchies and competition for resources. Here we discuss the concept of allostasis, maintaining stability through change, as a fundamental process through which organisms actively adjust to both predictable and unpredictable events. Allostatic load refers to the cumulative cost to the body of allostasis, with allostatic overload being a state in which serious pathophysiology can occur. Using the balance between energy input and expenditure as the basis for applying the concept of allostasis, we propose two types of allostatic overload. Type 1 allostatic overload occurs when energy demand exceeds supply, resulting in activation of the emergency life history stage. This serves to direct the animal away from normal life history stages into a survival mode that decreases allostatic load and regains positive energy balance. The normal life cycle can be resumed when the perturbation passes. Type 2 allostatic overload begins when there is sufficient or even excess energy consumption accompanied by social conflict and other types of social dysfunction. The latter is the case in human society and certain situations affecting animals in captivity. In all cases, secretion of glucocorticosteroids and activity of other mediators of allostasis such as the autonomic nervous system, CNS neurotransmitters, and inflammatory cytokines wax and wane with allostatic load. If allostatic load is chronically high, then pathologies develop. Type 2 allostatic overload does not trigger an escape response, and can only be counteracted through learning and changes in the social structure.
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              The role of oxidative stress in noise-induced hearing loss.

              Modern research has provided new insights into the biological mechanisms of noise-induced hearing loss, and with these new insights comes hope for possible prevention or treatment. Underlying the classic set of cochlear pathologies that occur as a result of noise exposure are increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a significant role in noise-induced hair cell death. Both necrotic and apoptotic cell death have been identified in the cochlea. Included in the current review is a brief review of ROS, along with a description of sources of cochlear ROS generation and how ROS can damage cochlear tissue. The pathways of necrotic and apoptotic cell death are also reviewed. Interventions are discussed that target the prevention of noise-induced hair cell death: the use of antioxidants to scavenge and eliminate the damaging ROS, pharmacological interventions to limit the damage resulting from ROS, and new techniques aimed at interrupting the apoptotic biochemical cascade that results in the death of irreplaceable hair cells.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2011
                28 February 2011
                : 6
                : 2
                Affiliations
                School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
                Institute of Marine Research, Norway
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: JP ANR. Performed the experiments: JP. Analyzed the data: JP. Wrote the paper: JP ANR.

                Article
                PONE-D-10-04444
                10.1371/journal.pone.0017478
                3046255
                21386909
                Purser, Radford. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 8
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Ecology
                Behavioral Ecology
                Freshwater Ecology
                Marine Ecology
                Evolutionary Biology
                Animal Behavior
                Marine Biology
                Fisheries Science
                Social and Behavioral Sciences
                Psychology
                Cognitive Psychology
                Experimental Psychology

                Uncategorized

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