Echo frequency selectivity of duration-tuned inferior collicular neurons of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, determined with pulse-echo pairs

C. H. Wu, P. H.S. Jen

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Abstract

During hunting, insectivorous bats such as Eptesicus fuscus progressively vary the repetition rate, duration, frequency and amplitude of emitted pulses such that analysis of an echo parameter by bats would be inevitably affected by other co-varying echo parameters. The present study is to determine the variation of echo frequency selectivity of duration-tuned inferior collicular neurons during different phases of hunting using pulse-echo (P-E) pairs as stimuli. All collicular neurons discharge maximally to a tone at a particular frequency which is defined as the best frequency (BF). Most collicular neurons also discharge maximally to a BF pulse at a particular duration which is defined as the best duration (BD). A family of echo iso-level frequency tuning curves (iso-level FTC) of these duration-tuned collicular neurons is measured with the number of impulses in response to the echo pulse at selected frequencies when the P-E pairs are presented at varied P-E duration and gap. Our data show that these duration-tuned collicular neurons have narrower echo iso-level FTC when measured with BD than with non-BD echo pulses. Also, IC neurons with low BF and short BD have narrower echo iso-level FTC than IC neurons with high BF and long BD have. The bandwidth of echo iso-level FTC significantly decreases with shortening of P-E duration and P-E gap. These data suggest that duration-tuned collicular neurons not only can facilitate bat's echo recognition but also can enhance echo frequency selectivity for prey feature analysis throughout a target approaching sequence during hunting. These data also support previous behavior studies showing that bats prepare their auditory system to analyze expected returning echoes within a time window to extract target features after pulse emission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1038
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience
Volume156
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct 28

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Neurons

Keywords

  • bat
  • duration tuned
  • frequency selectivity
  • inferior colliculus
  • pulse duration
  • pulse-echo pairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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Echo frequency selectivity of duration-tuned inferior collicular neurons of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, determined with pulse-echo pairs. / Wu, C. H.; Jen, P. H.S.

In: Neuroscience, Vol. 156, No. 4, 28.10.2008, p. 1028-1038.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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