A Mechanism for Horizontal and Vertical Target Localization in the Mustache Bat (Pteronotus p. parnellii)
Considering their aerial existence, bats have an obvious need to extract both horizontal and vertical spatial information from the echoes of their emitted pulses. Behavioral studies indicate that bats can resolve the relative angular separations of pairs of targets to within 5° in both the horizontal and vertical planes (Peff and Simmons, 1971; Lawrence and Simmons, 1972; Airapetianz and Konstantinov,1974; Simmons et al., 1983). Bats appear to be equally adept at resolving the absolute location of single targets. Observations of the prey-catching behavior of Myotis, for example, indicate this bat points its head towards an insect with an accuracy of also about 5° (Webster and Durlach, 1963; Webster and Brazier, 1968). The present contribution examines the acoustic cues available for resolving the azimuthal and elevational coordinates of a target, and suggests how this information might be encoded within the bat’s central auditory system. The subject is the greater mustache bat (Fteronotus p. parnellii) a species which requires accurate spatial information because it hunts insects amid dense foliage.
KeywordsInferior Colliculus Sound Localization Interaural Time Difference Vertical Midline Superior Olivary Complex
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