Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 121–128 | Cite as

Natural ultrasonic echoes from wing beating insects are encoded by collicular neurons in the CF-FM bat,Rhinolophus ferrumequinum

  • Gerd Schuller


  1. 1.

    Acoustic reflections from a wing beating moth to an 80 kHz ultrasonic signal were recorded from six different incident angles and analyzed in spectral and time domains. The recorded echoes as well as independent components of amplitude and frequency modulations of the echoes were employed as acoustic stimuli during single unit studies.

  2. 2.

    The responses of single inferior colliculus neurons to these stimuli were recorded from four horseshoe bats,Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, a species which uses a long constant frequency (CF) sound with a final frequency modulated (FM) sweep during echolocation. All neurons responding to wing beat echoes reliably encoded the fundamental wing beat frequency as well as the more refined frequency and amplitude modulations.

  3. 3.

    These neurons may provide the bat a neural mechanism to detect periodically moving targets against a cluttered background and also to discriminate various insect species on the basis of their wing beat patterns.



Inferior Colliculus Beat Frequency Ultrasonic Signal Cluttered Background Inferior Colliculus Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



constant frequency


amplitude modulation


frequency modulation


sinusoidal amplitude modulation


sinusoidal frequency modulation


best frequency


Fast Fourier Transform


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Schuller
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchen 2Federal Republic of Germany

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