Morcegos detectam atrasos temporais de eco de 10 nanosegundos (0,000000001 segundos!): mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

segunda-feira, setembro 04, 2017

Journal of Comparative Physiology A

November 1990, Volume 167, Issue 5, pp 589–616

Discrimination of jittered sonar echoes by the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus: The shape of target images in echolocation


Authors and affiliations

James A. Simmons2, Michael Ferragamo2, Cynthia F. Moss2, Scott B. Stevenson3, Richard A. Altes1

1.Chirp CorporationLa JollaUSA

2.Department of PsychologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

3.School of OptometryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Article Accepted: 18 August 1990


1. Behavioral experiments with jittering echoes examined acoustic images of sonar targets in the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus, along the echo delay or target range axis. Echo phase, amplitude, bandwidth, and signal-to-noise ratio were manipulated to assess the underlying auditory processes for image formation.

2. Fine delay acuity is about 10 ns. Calibration and control procedures indicate that this represents temporal acuity rather than spectral discrimination. Jitter discrimination curves change in phase when the phase of one jittering echo is shifted by 180° relative to the other, showing that echo phase is involved in delay estimation. At an echo detectability index of about 36 dB, fine acuity is 40 ns, which is approximately as predicted for the delay accuracy of an ideal receiver.

3. Compound performance curves for 0° and 180° phase conditions match the crosscorrelation function of the echoes. The locations of both 0° and 180° phase peaks in the performance curves shift along the time axis by an amount that matches neural amplitude-latency trading in Eptesicus, confirming a temporal basis for jitter discrimination.

Key words

Echolocation Biosonar Auditory system Acoustic images Neural timing Target ranging

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