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J Comp Physiol A. 1994 May;174(5):567-73.

Complex sound analysis in the FM bat Eptesicus fuscus, correlated with structural parameters of frequency modulated signals.

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Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside 92521.


Big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, were presented with artificial frequency modulated (FM) echoes that simulated an object becoming progressively closer to the bat. A stereotyped approach phase behavioral response of the bat to the virtual approaching target was used to determine the ability of the bat to analyze FM signals for target distance information. The degree to which the bats responded with approach phase behavior to a virtual approaching target was similar when they were presented with either a naturally structured artificial FM echo or an artificial FM echo constructed from a series of brief pure tone steps. The ability of the bats to respond to an FM signal structured from a sequence of pure tone elements depended on the number of pure tone steps in the series; the bats required the presentation of tone-step FM signals containing about 83 or greater pure tone elements. Moreover, the duration of the individual tone steps of the tone-step FM signals could not exceed a specific upper limit of about 0.05 ms. Finally, it appears that the bats were able to independently resolve individual tone steps within the tone-step FM signals that were separated by about 450 Hz or more.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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