Events

Bat echolocation is an active and adaptive system: its success depends upon a tight coupling between the animal’s actions and perception. Bats produce ultrasonic vocalizations and extract 3-D spatial information from the environment by processing echoes from objects in the path of the sound beam. In cluttered environments, each sonar vocalization results in a cascade of echoes from objects distributed in direction and distance, which the bat must perceptually organize to represent the positions and features of obstacles and prey. Bats encounter an additional challenge when they forage in the presence of conspecifics, namely sorting echo returns from their own signals from those produced by neighboring bats. Representing complex echo scenes demands high-resolution acoustic signal processing, which is enhanced by the bat’s adaptive control over the spectral, temporal and directional features of sonar calls.