Reports

Coordinated activities of middle-ear and laryngeal muscles in echolocating bats

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Science  05 Mar 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4230, pp. 950-952
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251206

Abstract

The middle-ear muscles and laryngeal muscles of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) are highly developed. When the bat emits orientation sounds, action potentials of middle-ear muscles appear approximately 3 milliseconds after those of the laryngeal muscles; this activity of middle-ear muscles attenuates the vocal self-stimulation and improves the performance of the echolocation system. When an acoustic stimulus is delivered, both types of muscles contract; action potentials of the laryngeal muscles appear approximately 3 milliseconds after those of the middle-ear muscles. These two groups of muscles are apparently activated in a coordinated manner not only by the nerve impulses from the vocalization center, but also by those from the auditory system.