Pteronotus parnellii uses the second harmonic (61–62 kHz) of the CF component in its orientation sounds for Doppler-shift compensation. The bat's inner ear is mechanically specialized for fine analysis of sounds at about 61–62 kHz. Because of this specialization, cochlear microphonics (CM) evoked by 61–62 kHz tone bursts exhibit prominent transients, slow increase and decrease in amplitude at the onset and cessation of these stimuli. CM-responses to 60–61 kHz tone bursts show a prominent input-output non-linearity and transients. Accordingly, a summated response of primary auditory neurones (N1) appears not only at the onset of the stimuli, but also at the cessation. N1-off is sharply tuned at 60–61 kHz, while N1-on is tuned at 63–64 kHz, which is 2 kHz higher than the best frequency of the auditory system because of the envelope-distortion originating from sharp mechanical tuning. Single peripheral neurones sensitive to 61–62 kHz sounds have an unusually sharp tuning curve and show phase-locked responses to beats of up to 3 kHz. Information about the frequencies of Doppler-shifted echoes is thus coded by a set of sharply tuned neurones and also discharges phase-locked to beats. Neurones with a best frequency between 55 and 64 kHz show not only tonic on-responses but also off-responses which are apparently related to the mechanical off-transient occuring in the inner ear and not to a rebound from neural inhibition.
Peripheral specialization for fine analysis of doppler-shifted echoes in the auditory system of the “CF-FM” bat Pteronotus parnellii
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N. Suga, J. A. Simmons, P. H. Jen; Peripheral specialization for fine analysis of doppler-shifted echoes in the auditory system of the “CF-FM” bat Pteronotus parnellii. J Exp Biol 1 August 1975; 63 (1): 161–192. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.63.1.161
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