Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 1993 Aug 12;364(6438):620-3.

A possible neuronal basis for representation of acoustic scenes in auditory cortex of the big brown bat.

Author information

Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912.


Behavioural studies and field observations demonstrate that echolocating bats simultaneously perceive range, direction and shape of multiple objects in the environment as acoustic images derived from echoes. Cortical echo delay-tuned neurons contribute to the perception of object range, because focal inactivation of these neurons disrupts behavioural discrimination of range. We report here that response properties of delay-tuned neurons in the cortical tonotopic area of the bat, Eptesicus, transform the sequential arrival times of echoes with different delays into a concurrent, accumulating neural representation of multiple objects at different ranges. The sharpness of delay tuning systematically increases at each best delay in a subpopulation of these neurons while responses to echoes at different delays are accumulated. The resulting concurrent, multiresolution representation of echo delay corresponds to neural implementation of a common representation of images used in computational vision and may provide the basis for representing acoustic images of multiple objects as acoustic 'scenes'.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center