Cephalopods are some of the most intriguing invertebrates with a well-developed nervous system and have formed the basis of some pioneering work in neurobiology. Yet, their hearing ability remains virtually unknown. Sound is used by aquatic animals to find prey, avoid predators and navigate. Hair cells identified from SEM imaging of cephalopods suggest they are capable of sound detection, however, while auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) have been recorded from the statocysts of adult cephalopods, the role of hearing during development is unknown. My research in the Grass Lab will compare baseline hearing sensitivity of recently hatched (< 10 day), juvenile (~ 30 day) and adult (~ 90 day) squid using AEPs. Furthermore, the effect of anthropogenic sound on aquatic animals is just beginning to be understood and the cephalopod’s position at key trophic levels make it imperative to investigate the potential impacts of noise pollution on these key species. Therefore, I will expose the different life stages to broadband sound and quantify the effect of noise on the hearing sensitivity of squid using electrophysiological and histological techniques.
Dr. Angie Michaiel of The Kavli Foundation interviewed Ros in July 2022.