Discrimination of Target Surface Structure in the Echolocating Bat, Megaderma Lyra
Microchiropteran bats use echolocation for orientation in space and the pursuit of prey. For bats hunting near the ground or in dense foliage, a complex form of echo pattern recognition is implied due to background clutter. Texture information may be important in order to successfully track objects or identify palatable prey on the ground. The efficiency of echolocation for the discrimination of naturally occurring structures and the information processing involved are far from clear. A twofold approach is adopted here: (1) The performance in surface structure discrimination of the Indian False Vampire, Megaderma lyra, is established in a real target situation. (2) A phantom target experiment is presented where a well controlled “echo” input is provided to the auditory system of the bats, as will be crucial for theoretical analysis and as a starting point for more refined experiments.
KeywordsCorrect Choice Discrimination Performance Test Target Real Target Echolocation Call
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