# Echolocation and hearing in bats

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1 Echolocation and hearing in bats Sound transmission Sound properties Attenuation Echolocation Decoding information from echoes Alternative calling strategies Adaptations for hearing in bats Websites

2

3 How does a cicada sing? Sound is produced by changes in pressure

4 Frequency and wavelength Wavelength of a sound is the distance traveled in one cycle. Frequency (in cps or Hertz) = 1/period, (f =1/T)

5 Wavelength depends on media Wavelength depends on the speed of propagation (c) Wavelength = ct or c/f Speed of sound in air = 340 m/s, so wavelength of 340 Hz = 1 m Speed of sound in water = 1450 m/s, wavelength of 340 Hz = 4.3 m

6 Wavelength problem Which sound has a shorter wavelength: 1 khz in air or 3 khz in water? Wavelength = speed of sound / frequency Air: 340 m/s / 1000 cycle/s = 0.34 m/cycle Water: 1500 m/s / 3000 cycle/s = 0.5 m/cycle Therefore, the answer is 1 khz in air

7 Source movement When the sound source is moving, the frequency of the sound will be altered. This is known as the Doppler shift Approaching sounds are higher in frequency Departing sounds are lower in frequency

8 Amplitude measurement Sound pressure is measured in decibels (db) on a log 10 scale relative to a reference level db = 20 log 10 P 1 /P r where P r is a reference pressure level, usually the threshold of human hearing at 4 khz. This is referred to as sound pressure level (SPL) A sound with twice the SPL is 6 db louder 20log 10 (2) = 20(0.3) = 6

9 Sample sound pressure levels soft whisper 20 db nearby songbird, office hum 50 db barking dog 70 db roaring lion, heavy truck 90 db echolocating bat 100 db jet take-off 120 db

10 Amplitude measurement Peak Peak-to-peak Root-mean-squared (RMS)

11 Amplitude problems If sound A has 10 times the SPL of sound B, how much louder is A than B in db? db = 20 log = 20 db louder If sound A is 100 db and sound B is 80 db, how much louder is A than B? 20 db If an 80 db sound is combined with a 40 db sound, how loud is the sound (approximately)? 80 db

12 Phase shifts Sounds that arrive out of phase cancel each other out (negative interference) Sounds that arrive in phase increase in amplitude (positive interference) Sounds partially out of phase create varying amplitudes (beats)

13 Sound spectrum Time domain Frequency spectrum Frequency domain

14 Frequency domain of a complex wave Frequency spectrum Phase spectrum

15 The Fourier series Any continuous waveform can be partitioned into a sum of sinusoidal waves P(t) = P o + ΣP n sin (2πf n t + Φ n ) P o is the ambient pressure P n is the pressure of the nth sine wave f n is the frequency of the nth sine wave Φ n is the phase of the nth sine wave

16 Harmonic series Harmonic frequencies are integer multiples of the fundamental frequency, i.e. w, 2w, 3w, 4w Dirichlet s rule states that the energy in higher harmonics falls off exponentially with the frequency of the harmonic Note, however, that some bats alter the amplitude of harmonics by selective filtering during sound production

17 Sound attenuation Spherical spreading Absorption Temperature and humidity effects Scattering Reflection, refraction, diffraction

18 Spherical spreading Loss in sound intensity follows the inverse square law: pressure halves for each doubling of distance, i.e. - 6 db for each doubling of distance

19 Atmospheric attenuation Increases with temp. & square of frequency Nonlinear with humidity

20 Diffraction Reflected wave is out of phase with creeping wave. Occurs when wavelength is similar to object diameter

21 Reflection and refraction Sound reflects off objects when wavelength is less than the size of the object

22 Echolocating animals

23 Bat echolocation 60 khz pulse 19 mm target at 3 m

24 Information decoded from echos Range pulse-echo time delay Velocity pulse-echo frequency change Target size frequency of echo Location ear amplitude difference

25 FM calls during prey capture Big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus Low duty cycle

26 FM bats shorten call duration to prevent pulse-echo overlap with target approach

27 Echolocation call diversity FM = frequency modulated CF = constant frequency

28 Echolocation strategies CF, considerable pulse-echo overlap FM, no pulse-echo overlap

29 Why produce constant frequency calls? More energy at a single frequency will carry further Target shape change will cause amplitude fluctuations in echoes Movement of target will cause frequency shift of echo due to the Doppler shift Need to overlap pulse and echo to measure frequency shift accurately

30 CF calls during prey capture Greater horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum High duty cycle

31 CF bats detect wing flutter as echo glints

32 CF bats exhibit doppler-shift compensation

33 Call design fits foraging strategy

34 The auditory pathway

35 Tonotopic map in the auditory system Auditory cortex Gray areas correspond to call frequencies Auditory cortex is expanded at frequencies associated with echolocation

36 Neuronal tuning in little brown and horseshoe bats Q 10 = best freq/ bandwidth at -10 db

37 Pteronotus parnellii

38 Individual Pteronotus bats use unique CF frequencies

39 Combination-sensitive neurons encode range and velocity in CF bats

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