Document Detail

Comparing passive and active hearing: spectral analysis of transient sounds in bats.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18515714     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In vision, colour constancy allows the evaluation of the colour of objects independent of the spectral composition of a light source. In the auditory system, comparable mechanisms have been described that allows the evaluation of the spectral shape of sounds independent of the spectral composition of ambient background sounds. For echolocating bats, the evaluation of spectral shape is vitally important both for the analysis of external sounds and the analysis of the echoes of self-generated sonar emissions. Here, we investigated how the echolocating bat Phyllostomus discolor evaluates the spectral shape of transient sounds both in passive hearing and in echolocation as a specialized mode of active hearing. Bats were trained to classify transients of different spectral shape as low- or highpass. We then assessed how the spectral shape of an ambient background noise influenced the spontaneous classification of the transients. In the passive-hearing condition, the bats spontaneously changed their classification boundary depending on the spectral shape of the background. In the echo-acoustic condition, the classification boundary did not change although the background- and spectral-shape manipulations were identical in the two conditions. These data show that auditory processing differs between passive and active hearing: echolocation represents an independent mode of active hearing with its own rules of auditory spectral analysis.
Holger R Goerlitz; Mathias Hübner; Lutz Wiegrebe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  211     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-02     Completed Date:  2008-10-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1850-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department Biologie II, Neurobiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Grobhadernerstrasse 2, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Chiroptera / physiology*
Echolocation / physiology*
Hearing / physiology*
Pattern Recognition, Physiological / physiology*
Sound Spectrography

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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