Title
Echo-acoustic flow dynamically modifies the cortical map of target range in bats Echo-acoustic flow dynamically modifies the cortical map of target range in bats
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Nature communications
Volume/pages
5(2014) , p. 1-11
ISSN
2041-1723
Article Reference
4668
ISI
000341057500022
Carrier
E-only publicatie
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Echolocating bats use the delay between their sonar emissions and the reflected echoes to measure target range, a crucial parameter for avoiding collisions or capturing prey. In many bat species, target range is represented as an orderly organized map of echo delay in the auditory cortex. Here we show that the map of target range in bats is dynamically modified by the continuously changing flow of acoustic information perceived during flight (echo-acoustic flow). Combining dynamic acoustic stimulation in virtual space with extracellular recordings, we found that neurons in the auditory cortex of the bat Phyllostomus discolor encode echo-acoustic flow information on the geometric relation between targets and the bats flight trajectory, rather than echo delay per se. Specifically, the cortical representation of close-range targets is enlarged when the lateral passing distance of the target decreases. This flow-dependent enlargement of target representation may trigger adaptive behaviours such as vocal control or flight manoeuvres.
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