Frontal Auditory Space Representation in the Cerebellar Vermis of Echolocating Bats
Since the classic work of Snider and Stowell 40 years ago, cerebellar neurons responding to acoustic stimuli have been reported in various animals including echolocating bats. The cerebellum has been suggested to play an important role in orienting an animal toward a sound source. As an echolocating bat essentially relies upon acoustic signal processing to sense its environment, its cerebellum must execute a highly coordinated sensorimotor integration in acoustic orientation. In particular, the cerebellum must integrate acoustic directional information for proper flight orientation. Judging the extremely successful echolocation performance of a bat, it apparently is able to detect and localize a target in order to make corrections to point at the target. Such an acoustic orientation requries the bat to be able to code accurately an echo source. In particular, its ability to code the echo source within its frontal auditory space is essential because of its forward beaming of the signal and its forward scanning position of its pinnae. To understand how the bat’s cerebellum registers the echo source within its frontal auditory space, a study of the frontal auditory space representation in its cerebellum is conducted.
KeywordsSuperior Colliculus Inferior Colliculus Maximal Sensitivity Acoustic Stimulus Response Area
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