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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2007 Jan;193(1):13-20. Epub 2006 Nov 18.

FM signals produce robust paradoxical latency shifts in the bat's inferior colliculus.

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Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.


Previous studies in echolocating bats, Myotis lucifugus, showed that paradoxical latency shift (PLS) is essential for neural computation of target range and that a number of neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC) exhibit unit-specific PLS (characterized by longer first-spike latency at higher sound levels) in response to tone pulses at the unit's best frequency. The present study investigated whether or not frequency-modulated (FM) pulses that mimic the bat's echolocation sonar signals were equally effective in eliciting PLS. For two-thirds of PLS neurons in the IC, both FM and tone pulses could elicit PLS, but only FM pulses consistently produced unit-specific PLS. For the remainder of PLS neurons, only FM pulses effectively elicited PLS; these cells showed either no PLS or no response, to tone pulses. PLS neurons generally showed more pronounced PLS in response to narrow-band FM (each sweeping 20 kHz in 2 ms) pulse that contained the unit's best frequency. In addition, almost all PLS neurons showed duration-independent PLS to FM pulses, but the same units exhibited duration-dependent PLS to tone pulses. Taken together, when compared to tone pulses, FM stimuli can provide more reliable estimates of target range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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