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J Comp Psychol. 1999 Sep;113(3):297-306.

Sound localization in an Old-World fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus): acuity, use of binaural cues, and relationship to vision.

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Department of Psychology, University of Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA.


The passive sound-localization acuity of Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) was determined using a conditioned-avoidance procedure. The mean minimum audible angle for left-right discrimination for 3 bats was 11.6 degrees--very near the mean for terrestrial mammals. The bats also were able to localize low- and high-frequency pure tones, indicating that they can use both binaural phase-difference and binaural intensity-difference cues to localize sound. Moreover, they were able to use the binaural phase-difference cue up to at least 5.6 kHz, which is higher than other mammals yet tested. The width of the Egyptian fruit bats' field of best vision was 27 degrees. This value is consistent with the hypothesis that the role of passive sound localization is to direct the eyes for visual scrutiny of sound sources. Thus, the passive localization abilities of these echolocating megachiropteran fruit bats do not deviate from the patterns established for nonecholocating mammals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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