Perspectives on the Functional Organization of the Mammalian Auditory System: Why Bats Are Good Models

  • George D. Pollak
  • Jeffery A. Winer
  • William E. O’Neill
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 5)

Abstract

Echolocating bats, more than most other mammals, rely on their sense of hearing for obtaining information about their external world (Griffin 1958; also see Fenton, Chapter 2, and Moss and Schnitzler, Chapter 3). In keeping with their reliance on hearing, their auditory systems are not only well developed, but are also proportionately much larger than are the auditory systems of other mammals. Nevertheless, bats are rarely used as models to illustrate basic features of the mammalian auditory system. The reasons for this are partially historical. The cat has traditionally been employed in studies of the central auditory system, and thus the studies of other mammals are frequently overshadowed by the large number of reports on the cat. However, we believe there is also another reason. This reason stems from a notion that echolocation, the ability to “see” objects in the external world with ultrasonic echoes, required fundamental modifications of the auditory system. These modifications changed the nature of acoustic processing, and thus separated the bat auditory system from that of other mammals.

Keywords

Recombination Glycine Neurol Gall Hunt 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • George D. Pollak
  • Jeffery A. Winer
  • William E. O’Neill

There are no affiliations available

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