Animal Sonar pp 707-713 | Cite as

Attention and Detection in Dolphin Echolocation

  • Ralph H. Penner
Part of the NATO ASI Science book series (NSSA, volume 156)


A systematic and predictable relationship exists between the distance to detected targets and the time between dolphin echolocation pulses. Two-way acoustic travel time accounts for the major part of the interpulse interval at detection distances beyond 10 meters. An additional time over the necessary acoustic two-way travel time completes the interval and remains relatively constant as interpulse interval lengths increase or decrease in adjustment to increasing or decreasing target distance (Morozov et al., 1972; Penner, 1981). Real-time monitoring of dolphin echolocation pulses, allows an experimenter to know the distance at which an animal is focusing its attention. Previous studies on human attention (e.g. Posner et al., 1979) have demonstrated that detection of signals can be directly effected by similar attention mechanisms.


Target Distance Correct Detection Correct Rejection Interpulse Interval Inter Pulse Interval 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph H. Penner
    • 1
  1. 1.Naval Ocean Systems CenterUSA

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