Site of Neural Attenuation of Responses to Self-Vocalized Sounds in Echolocating Bats

Science  22 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4130, pp. 1211-1213
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4130.1211


Bats of the genus Myotis emit intense orientation sounds for echolocation. If such sounds directly stimulated their ears, the detection of echoes from short distances would be impaired. In addition to the muscular mechanism in the middle ear, the bat has a neural mechanism in the brain for attenuation of responses to self-vocalized orientation and nonorientation sounds. This neural attenuating mechanism operates in the nucleus of the lateral lemniscus, reducing its activity by about 15 decibels, and it is synchronized with vocalization.