Cortical neurons sensitive to combinations of information-bearing elements of biosonar signals in the mustache bat

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Science  19 May 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4343, pp. 778-781
DOI: 10.1126/science.644320


The auditory cortex of the mustache bat, Pteronotus parnellii rubiginosus, is composed of functional divisions which are differently organized to be suited for processing the elements of its biosonar signal according to their biological significance. Unlike the Doppler-shifted-CF (constant frequency) processing area, the area processing the frequency-modulated components does not show clear tonotopic and amplitopic representations, but consists of several clusters of neurons, each of which is sensitive to a particular combination (or combinations) of information-bearing elements of the biosonar signal and echoes. The response properties of neurons in the major clusters indicate that processing of information carried by the frequency-modulated components of echoes is facilitated by the first harmonic of the emitted biosonar signal. The properties of some of these neurons suggest that they are tuned to a target which has a particular cross-sectional area and which is located at a particular distance.

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