Document Detail

Adaptive echolocation behavior in bats for the analysis of auditory scenes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19376960     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Echolocating bats emit sonar pulses and listen to returning echoes to probe their surroundings. Bats adapt their echolocation call design to cope with dynamic changes in the acoustic environment, including habitat change or the presence of nearby conspecifics/heterospecifics. Seven pairs of big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, were tested in this study to examine how they adjusted their echolocation calls when flying and competing with a conspecific for food. Results showed that differences in five call parameters, start/end frequencies, duration, bandwidth and sweep rate, significantly increased in the two-bat condition compared with the baseline data. In addition, the magnitude of spectral separation of calls was negatively correlated with the baseline call design differences in individual bats. Bats with small baseline call frequency differences showed larger increases in call frequency separation when paired than those with large baseline call frequency differences, suggesting that bats actively change their sonar call structure if pre-existing differences in call design are small. Call design adjustments were also influenced by physical spacing between two bats. Calls of paired bats exhibited the largest design separations when inter-bat distance was shorter than 0.5 m, and the separation decreased as the spacing increased. All individuals modified at least one baseline call parameter in response to the presence of another conspecific. We propose that dissimilarity between the time-frequency features of sonar calls produced by different bats aids each individual in segregating echoes of its own sonar vocalizations from the acoustic signals of neighboring bats.
Chen Chiu; Wei Xian; Cynthia F Moss
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  212     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2009 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-04-20     Completed Date:  2009-07-31     Revised Date:  2013-06-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1392-404     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Auditory Perception
Behavior, Animal
Chiroptera / physiology*
Echolocation / physiology*
Grant Support

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