Document Detail

Bats use echo harmonic structure to distinguish their targets from background clutter.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21798949     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
When echolocating big brown bats fly in complex surroundings, echoes arriving from irrelevant objects (clutter) located to the sides of their sonar beam can mask perception of relevant objects located to the front (targets), causing "blind spots." Because the second harmonic is beamed more weakly to the sides than the first harmonic, these clutter echoes have a weaker second harmonic. In psychophysical experiments, we found that electronically misaligning first and second harmonics in echoes (to mimic the misalignment of corresponding neural responses to harmonics in clutter echoes) disrupts the bat's echo-delay perception but also prevents clutter masking. Electronically offsetting harmonics to realign their neural responses restores delay perception but also clutter interference. Thus, bats exploit harmonics to distinguish clutter echoes from target echoes, sacrificing delay acuity to suppress masking.
Mary E Bates; James A Simmons; Tengiz V Zorikov
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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:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  333     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2011 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-07-29     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  627-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Box 1853, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.
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Comment In:
Science. 2011 Jul 29;333(6042):528-9   [PMID:  21798917 ]

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