Mechanisms for Analysis of Auditory Temporal Patterns in the Brainstem of Echolocating Bats

  • John H. Casseday
  • Ellen Covey


A vital function of the auditory system in all vertebrates is to identify sounds that are important for social interactions, predation and predator avoidance. Examples of these behaviorally important sounds are communication signals of conspecifics, noises made by movements of other animals and highly specialized species-specific sounds such as the biosonar signals used by echolocating bats. Identification of many behaviorally important sounds, especially those made by prey or predators, must occur rapidly to activate other neural systems that produce a motor response. Many biologically important sounds are characterized by simple temporal features, such as duration of the sound or its components, direction of a frequency sweep, or the rate of modulation in sounds that periodically change in frequency or amplitude. Many sounds are further characterized by complex sequences of elements that follow a specific order over time.


Inferior Colliculus Cochlear Nucleus Excitatory Input Inhibitory Input Lateral Superior Olive 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Casseday
    • 1
  • Ellen Covey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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