Representing 3-D space: What the bat’s voice tells the bat’s brain

  • Date: Mar 15, 2024
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Cynthia Moss
  • Dept of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
  • Location: MPI BI Martinsried
  • Room: MPI BI, T-Building, Large lecture hall, Meeting-ID: 844 7224 0120 Kenncode: 185545
  • Host: PhD representatives
Representing 3-D space: What the bat’s voice tells the bat’s brain

How does the brain represent dynamic sensory information in the natural environment? How are sensory signals and motor commands coordinated to direct actions in 3D space? The echolocating bat presents a powerful animal model to address these questions, as it produces the very acoustic signals that guide its behaviors. Importantly, the echolocating bat adapts the timing, duration, bandwidth, and directional aim of its echolocation calls in response to changes in environmental stimuli and task demands, providing an experimental window to quantify on a rapid time scale the sensory information an animal has processed and the information it is seeking. In this talk, I will present data from a series of experiments that illustrate the tight coupling between vocal-motor behavior and sound processing in bats as they execute natural tasks, such as sonar target tracking and obstacle avoidance. Quantitative analyses of adaptive echolocation behaviors lay the foundation for our neurophysiological experiments, and I will report the effects of echolocation call adjustments on the neural coding of 3D sonar object location in flying bats. These findings highlight the dynamics of neural systems in freely behaving animals.

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