Echo amplitude sensitivity of bat auditory neurons improves with decreasing pulse-Echo gap

Philip H.S. Jen*, Chung Hsin Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During hunting, insectivorous bats systematically vary the parameters of emitted pulses and analyze the returning echoes to extract prey features. As such, the duration of the pulse (P) and echo (E), the P-E gap, and the P-E amplitude difference progressively decrease throughout the preyapproach sequence. Our previous studies have shown that most inferior collicular neurons of bats discharge maximally to a best duration, and they have the sharpest echo frequency and amplitude sensitivity when stimulated with P-E pairs with duration the same as the best duration. Furthermore, their echo duration and frequency sensitivity improves with decreasing P-E duration and P-E gap. The present study shows that this is also true in the amplitude domain. Thus, all these data indicate that bats can better extract multiple parameters of expected rather than unexpected echo after pulse emission. They also support the hypothesis that a bat's inferior collicular neurons improve the response sensitivity in multiple parametric domains as the prey is approached to increase the success of hunting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 7


  • Bat
  • Echo amplitude sensitivity
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Pulse-echo pairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Echo amplitude sensitivity of bat auditory neurons improves with decreasing pulse-Echo gap'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this