Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 111–125 | Cite as

Peripheral auditory tuning for fine frequency analysis by the CF-FM bat,Rhinolophus ferrumequinum

IV. Properties of peripheral auditory neurons
  • N. Suga
  • G. Neuweiler
  • J. Möller


For echolocation,Rhinolophus ferrumequinum emits orientation sounds, each of which consists of a long constant-frequency (CF) component and short frequency-modulated (FM) components. The CF component is about 83 kHz and is used for Doppler-shift compensation. In this bat, single auditory nerve fibers and cochlear nuclear neurons tuned at about 83 kHz show low threshold and very sharp filter characteristics. The slopes of their tuning curves ranged between 1,000 and 3,500 dB/octave and their Q-10 dB values were between 20 and 400, 140 on the average (Figs. 3–5). The peripheral auditory system is apparently specialized for the reception and fine frequency analysis of the CF component in orientation sounds and Doppler-shift compensated echoes. This specialization is not due to suppression or inhibition comparable to lateral inhibition, but due to the mechanical specialization of the cochlea. Peripheral auditory neurons with the best frequency between 77 and 87 kHz showed not only on-responses, but also off-responses to tonal stimuli (Figs. 1, 2, and 6). The off-responses with a latency comparable to that of N1-off were not due to a rebound from either suppression or inhibition, but probably due to a mechanical transient occurring in the cochlea at the cessation of a tone burst.


Lateral Inhibition Auditory System Auditory Nerve Tuning Curve Good Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Suga
    • 1
  • G. Neuweiler
    • 1
  • J. Möller
    • 1
  1. 1.Arbeitsgruppe Neuro- und RezeptorphysiologieFachbereich Biologie der J.W. Goethe UniversitätFrankfurtGermany

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