While the saccule is often considered to be the primary auditory end organ, evidence from a small number of studies demonstrates that the lagena could support the saccule. Furthermore, since the lagena is often positioned vertically, research also suggests that it responds to stimulation in the vertical plane and may provide directional information. Therefore, the lagena appears to function in sound localization, especially close to the source, when the stimulus level is high and likely saturating the saccule. As the lagena is often positioned close to the swim bladder, it may also function in sound pressure detection. Since there is great diversity in the morphology of the fish inner ear and pressure detection abilities, it important that studies on fish hearing evaluate the role of the lagena on a species-specific basis. As the lagena has been shown to contribute to sound detection in fishes, it is likely susceptible to high amplitude anthropogenic sound, which can affect a fish’s ability to detect conspecifics, prey, and predators. Here, I summarize the published research on lagenar sensitivity and examine the contribution of the lagena to hearing to better understand how exposure to high levels of anthropogenic sound may affect soundscape assessment in fish.

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