Navigation Links
Zooming in for a safe flight
Date:9/1/2014

As nocturnal animals, bats are perfectly adapted to a life without light. They emit echolocation sounds and use the delay between the reflected echoes to measure distance to obstacles or prey. In their brains, they have a spatial map representing different echo delays. A study carried out by researchers at Technische Universitt Mnchen (TUM) has shown for the first time that this map dynamically adapts to external factors.

Closer objects appear larger

When a bat flies in too close to an object, the number of activated neurons in its brain increases. As a result, the object appears disproportionately larger on the bat's brain map than objects at a safe distance, as if it were magnified. "The map is similar to the navigation systems used in cars in that it shows bats the terrain in which they are moving," explains study director Dr. Uwe Firzlaff at the TUM Chair of Zoology. "The major difference, however, is that the bats' inbuilt system warns them of an impending collision by enhancing neuronal signals for objects that are in close proximity."

Bats constantly adapt their flight maneuvers to their surroundings to avoid collisions with buildings, trees or other animals. The ability to determine lateral distance to other objects also plays a key role here. Which is why bats process more spatial information than just echo delays. "Bats evaluate their own motion and map it against the lateral distance to objects," elaborates the researcher.

Brain processes complex spatial information

In addition to the echo reflection time, bats process the reflection angle of echoes. They also compare the sound volume of their calls with those of the reflected sound waves and measure the wave spectrum of the echo. "Our research has led us to conclude that bats display much more spatial information on their acoustic maps than just echo reflection."

The results show that the nerve cells interpret the bats' rapid responses to external stimuli by enlarging the active area in the brain to display important information. "We may have just uncovered one of the fundamental mechanisms that enables vertebrates to adapt flexibly to continuously changing environments," concludes Firzlaff.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara Wankerl
barbara.wankerl@tum.de
49-892-892-2562
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Patients with hypoventilation may need supplemental oxygen on-board flights
2. Smart Technology Consumers Interest in Mobile Payment Products Grows - Company Secures Deal with Major Airline to Display Advertisements in Flight for its Next Generation Smart Wallet
3. New feathered predatory fossil sheds light on dinosaur flight
4. Fruit fly immunity fails with fungus after (space)flight
5. Project MERCCURI crowdsourced space station samples take flight
6. Fight or flight? Vocal cues help deer decide during mating season
7. Climate change may disrupt butterfly flight seasons
8. The secrets of a bugs flight
9. Hovering is a bother for bees: Fast flight is more stable
10. New evidence of dinosaurs role in the evolution of bird flight
11. SF State biologists tag zombees to track their flight
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 ... 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... San Diego, California (PRWEB) , ... May 18, ... ... looking for team-building activities. The Tapas Cooking Challenge is a two-hour team-building ... from a delicious menu created by Chef Jodi Abel, which include items, such ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... May 17, ... ... risk management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences ... the Chairman of the UDIs and Traceability for Medical Devices conference in Brussels, ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Genedata, a leading provider of advanced ... Group Meetings, which will be held in Boston, Cambridge/UK, Shanghai, and Tokyo. These ... data analysis and learn about the latest advances in screening technologies and applications. ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , ... (PRWEB) May 16, ... ... Congress of the Chinese Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (CAOS), long-standing development partners ... collaborated on an interbody spine surgery workshop to help expand knowledge of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: