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Neural Response Selectivity to Natural Sounds in the Bat Midbrain.

Salles, Angeles; Park, Sangwook; Sundar, Harshavardhan; Macías, Silvio; Elhilali, Mounya; Moss, Cynthia F.
Neuroscience; 2020 Jan 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31918008
Little is known about the neural mechanisms that mediate differential action-selection responses to communication and echolocation calls in bats. For example, in the big brown bat, frequency modulated (FM) food-claiming communication calls closely resemble FM echolocation calls, which guide social and orienting behaviors, respectively. Using advanced signal processing methods, we identified fine differences in temporal structure of these natural sounds that appear key to auditory discrimination and behavioral decisions. We recorded extracellular potentials from single neurons in the midbrain inferior colliculus (IC) of passively listening animals, and compared responses to playbacks of acoustic signals used by bats for social communication and echolocation. We combined information obtained from spike number and spike triggered averages (STA) to reveal a robust classification of neuron selectivity for communication or echolocation calls. These data highlight the importance of temporal acoustic structure for differentiating echolocation and food-claiming social calls and point to general mechanisms of natural sound processing across species.
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