Disproportionate tonotopic representation for processing CF-FM sonar signals in the mustache bat auditory cortex

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Science  29 Oct 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4264, pp. 542-544
DOI: 10.1126/science.973140


The extent of cortical representation of the peripheral sensory field depends on its importance for species behavior. The orientation sound of the mustache bat (Pteronotus parnellii rubiginosus) invariably consists of long constant-frequency and short frequency-modulated components and is indispensable for its survival. A disproportionately large part of the auditory cortex of this bat is occupied by neurons processing the predominant components in the orientation signal and Doppler-shifted echoes. This disproportionate cortical representation related to features of biologically significant signals is comparable to that in the somatosensory and visual systems in many mammals, but it has not previously been observed in the auditory system.