To the Editor.—The article entitled, "Long-Term Partial Eighth Nerve Section in Cats," by Drs. Mikaelian and Warfield which appeared in the April 1970, issue of Archives deserves some comment. In an animal experiment they interpreted their data to indicate that a loss of 50% of the auditory nerve fibers was compatible with the preservation of good auditory discrimination. Their experiment provides somewhat less than convincing evidence for this statement.
1. Their animals were trained to differentiate simple patterns of pure tones which does not offer as severe a discriminatory challenge to the higher centers as does the speech discrimination test for humans. In an excellent study Elliott1 has already shown that cats are capable of normal pitch discrimination for pure tones in the presence of severe neural deficits. This important paper did not appear in the bibliography of Mikaelian and Warfield.
2. When the cochlear nerve is approached
SCHUKNECHT HF. PARTIAL EIGHTH NERVE SECTION. Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;93(5):541–542. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770060787025
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