Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp 47–56 | Cite as

Electrophysiological properties of auditory neurons in the superior olivary complex of echolocating bats

  • Philip H. -S. Jen


  1. 1.

    Electrophysiological properties of the neurons in the superior olivary complex of the bat,Myotis lucifugus, are studied. Evoked potentials (N3) and single unit responses are recorded.

  2. 2.

    The peak latency of N3 is between 2.0 and 2.4 ms. The latencies of 173 tonic on-responding units are between 2.2 and 2.8 ms.

  3. 3.

    The shapes of amplitude function of N3 and impulse-count function of single units vary as a function of the location of a sound source.

  4. 4.

    Threshold curves of N3 potentials are similar to those of N4 potentials (Grinnell, 1963 a) and are broadly tuned to frequencies from 10 to 100 kHz.

  5. 5.

    Threshold curves of 76 single units have triangular shapes. 13 units have broadly tuned threshold curves with Q10dB values less than 4.2. Threshold curves of the remaining 63 units are sharper, with Q10dB values between 4.5 and 41.0.

  6. 6.

    Responses of 10 units to a downward-sweeping FM stimulus are studied. The lowest threshold of a single unit for a FM stimulus is always higher than the minimum threshold of the neuron measured with a pure tone stimulus of the same duration.

  7. 7.

    Evidence for the existence of binaural neurons is presented and discussed.



Single Unit Sound Source Pure Tone Minimum Threshold Peak Latency 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip H. -S. Jen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA

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