Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 45–51 | Cite as

Audition in vampire bats, Desmodus rotundus

  • U. Schmidt
  • P. Schlegel
  • H. Schweizer
  • G. Neuweiler


  1. 1.

    Within the tonotopic organization of the inferior colliculus two frequency ranges are well represented: a frequency range within that of the echolocation signals from 50 to 100 kHz, and a frequency band below that of the echolocation sounds, from 10 to 35 kHz. The frequency range between these two bands, from about 40 to 50 kHz is distinctly underrepresented (Fig. 3B).

  2. 2.

    Units with BFs in the lower frequency range (10–25 kHz) were most sensitive with thresholds of -5 to -11 dB SPL, and units with BFs within the frequency range of the echolocation signals had minimal thresholds around 0 dB SPL (Fig. 1).

  3. 3.

    In the medial part of the rostral inferior colliculus units were encountered which preferentially or exclusively responded to noise stimuli. — Seven neurons were found which were only excited by human breathing noises and not by pure tones, frequency modulated signals or various noise bands. These neurons were considered as a subspeciality of the larger sample of noise-sensitive neurons. — The maximal auditory sensitivity in the frequency range below that of echolocation, and the conspicuous existence of noise and breathing-noise sensitive units in the inferior colliculus are discussed in context with the foraging behavior of vampire bats.


Key words

Hearing Chiroptera Desmodus Inferior colliculus Tonotopy 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Schmidt
    • 1
  • P. Schlegel
    • 2
  • H. Schweizer
    • 2
  • G. Neuweiler
    • 2
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut der Universität BonnBonnFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Zoologisches Institut der Universität MünchenMünchenFederal Republic of Germany

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