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Target shape perception and clutter rejection use the same mechanism in bat sonar.

Warnecke, Michaela; Simmons, James A.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27041334
Big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) emit frequency-modulated (FM) biosonar sounds containing two or more harmonic sweeps. Echoes from frontally located targets arrive with first and second harmonics intact, leading to focused delay images. Echoes from offside or distant objects arrive with the second harmonic relatively weaker (lowpass-filtered), leading to defocused images, which prevents their clutter interference effects (Bates et al. J Exp Biol 214394-401, 2011). Realistic targets contain several glints at slightly different distances and reflect several echoes at correspondingly different delays. The bat registers the delay of the nearest glint's echoes in the time domain. The delays of echoes from the farther glints are registered in the frequency domain, from interference nulls in the spectrum. Lowpass-filtering of echoes directly affects the image of the nearest glint by defocusing the delay image. However, lowpass-filtering also is superimposed on the interference spectrum used to register the farther glints, which distorts the pattern of interference nulls, defocusing the farther glints inversely, in the spectral domain, before they are perceived as delays. Differences in blurring between time-domain and frequency-domain parts of images identifies separate computational paths to perceptually reconstruct objects and prevent interference from off-side or distant clutter.
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