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J Neurophysiol. 1986 Jun;55(6):1247-67.

Biosonar signals and cerebellar auditory neurons of the mustached bat.


In the vermis (VIp, VIIa, VIIp, and VIII), crus, and paraflocculus of unanesthetized mustached bats Pteronotus parnellii parnellii, responses of single neurons to acoustic stimuli were studied. The stimuli delivered were constant-frequency (CF) tones, frequency-modulated (FM) sounds, noise bursts (NBs), and sounds similar to the orientation sounds (pulses) of the species and echoes. The effect of ablation of the cerebellar cortex on vocalization was also investigated to explore whether the cerebellum was involved in sound emission. In the cerebellum of the mustached bat, auditory neurons are predominantly tuned to frequencies within the bands between 23 and 30, 55 and 63, or 85 and 94 kHz, which are found in the first, second, and third harmonics of bat's biosonar signals, respectively. The first harmonic is represented in the paraflocculus. The second harmonic is represented in vermis VIp and VIIa and crus I and IIa. The third harmonic is mainly represented in vermis VIIp and crus IIp. Different lobules represent different frequencies, but there is no systematic tonotopic representation in each lobule. The resting frequency of the CF component of the second harmonic (CF2) of the pulse differs among bats. The majority of auditory neurons in vermis VIp and VIIa and crus IIa are tuned to the CF2 frequency of the bat's own pulse. The frequency-tuning curves of cerebellar neurons are broader than those of peripheral neurons, reflected in significantly lower quality factors of Q-10, -30, and -50 dBs. In vermis VIp and VIIa, there are tiny clusters of FM-FM and CF/CF combination-sensitive neurons. They show strong facilitation of responses when two FM or CF sounds are delivered with particular relationships in the frequency, amplitude, and time domains. Because the clusters of these combination-sensitive neurons in the cerebellum are so small, we found no sign of a systematic representation of certain acoustic parameters, unlike that found in the auditory cortex. In vermis VIp and VIIa, there is a large cluster of NB-sensitive neurons that are more sensitive to NBs than to CF tones. The wider the bandwidth of the NBs, the better are the responses of these NB-sensitive neurons. The ablation of the vermis (VIp, VIIa, and VIIp), crus, and paraflocculus increases the variation of the CF frequency of the pulse. The ablation of the crus and paraflocculus causes a clear increase in the variation of CF frequency. The ablation of vermis (VIp, VIIa, and VIIp) has only a small effect on the variation. Any of the above ablations has little effect on the repetition rate of the pulse emission and the duration of pulses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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