Neurons in the inferior colliculus of the big brown bat show maximal amplitude sensitivity at the best duration

Chung Hsin Wu, Philip H.S. Jen

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, emit ultrasonic signals and analyze the returning echoes in multi-parametric domains to extract target features. The variation of different pulse parameters during hunting predicts that analysis of an echo parameter by bats is inevitably affected by other co-varying echo parameters. In this study, we presented data to show that the bat inferior collicular (IC) neurons have maximal amplitude sensitivity at the best duration (BD). A family of rate-amplitude function (RAF) of each IC neuron is plotted with the BD and non-BD sound pulses. The RAF plotted with BD pulses has sharper slope (SL) and smaller dynamic range (DR) than the RAF plotted with non-BD pulses has. All RAFs can be described as monotonic, saturated or non-monotonic. IC neurons with monotonic RAF are mostly recorded at deeper IC and they have the largest average BD, best amplitude (BA) and DR. Conversely, IC neurons with non-monotonic RAF are mostly recorded at upper IC and they have the smallest average BD, BA and DR. Low best frequency (BF) neurons at upper IC have shorter BD, smaller BA and DR than high BF neurons at deeper IC have. These data suggest that IC neurons that tune to an echo duration also have the greatest sensitivity to echo amplitude. These data also suggest that sensitivity in frequency, duration and amplitude appears to be orderly represented along the dorso-ventral axis of the IC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-268
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 1



  • Amplitude and duration sensitivity
  • Bat
  • Echolocation
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Rate-amplitude function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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